Mumbai, March 4 (PTI): Telecom major Bharti Airtel today raised $1 billion through a bond sale in the overseas market, merchant bankers said. This is the largest such sale by a private firm this year.
The 10-year unsecured bonds have a coupon of 5.125 per cent per annum and were launched by Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands), a wholly owned subsidiary of the telecom firm, Jujhar Singh, managing director (capital markets) at StanChart India, said over phone from Singapore.
Last Monday, Bharti launched roadshows in Asia, Europe and the US and had picked seven foreign banks for this unsecured senior bonds (or RegS bonds), which can be issued to non-US residents and qualified institutional buyers with lesser protection clauses.
Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, StanChart and UBS were the arrangers. The Bharti Airtel bond carried a BBB- rating from Fitch and BB+ from S&P.
On February 1, Bharti Enterprises Group’s (holding company of Bharti Airtel) chief financial officer Sarvjit Dhillon had said the firm was planning to raise up to $1 billion before the end of this fiscal.
In June 2011, Bharti had met investors but developed cold feet about going ahead with a bond offering.
With this, Bharti becomes the largest private borrower to tap the global bond markets this year after Reliance Industries’ $800-million perpetual bond in late January.