Vodafone Group moved forward with plans to sell its sizeable stake in Indian infrastructure company Indus Tower, seeking funds to pay down debt of its troubled mobile business in the country.
The company plans to offload a 2.4 per stake of Indus Towers through an accelerated book build offering. It is also in advanced talks with Bharti Airtel, the largest shareholder of the tower unit, for the sale of a 4.7 per cent stake.
Vodafone cautioned the terms of the deal are being worked out, with no certainty it will close.
The sale of the both stakes would leave the group with a 21 per cent shareholding. Airtel holds a near 42 per cent interest.
Vodafone stated it is in discussions with several parties about the sale of its remaining shares in Indus Tower.
Based on its closing share price February 23 its total share is valued at INR190.4 billion (US$2.5 billion).
The operator added it and Vodafone Idea’s other major shareholder Aditya Birla Group are committed to supporting the Indian operator’s efforts to strengthen its balance sheet.
Last month, Vodafone Idea converted US$2.1 billion of adjusted gross revenue and spectrum liabilities into equity, giving the Indian government a 34.8 per cent holding.
On an earnings call in January, Vodafone Idea set a deadline of end-March for raising capital to cut debt totalling INR2 trillion.
Vodafone Idea sold its 11.1 per cent holding in Indus Towers in November 2020, when a merger between the tower company and Bharti Infratel closed.