Home Business Companies Bharti Airtel Block Deal: GQG Partners Buys 0.8% Stake From Singtel

Bharti Airtel Block Deal: GQG Partners Buys 0.8% Stake From Singtel

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Bharti Airtel Block Deal: GQG Partners Buys 0.8% Stake From Singtel
Image Courtesy: Airtel

In a significant move within the telecommunications sector, US-based investment firm GQG Partners, led by Rajiv Jain, has acquired 4.9 crore equity shares of Bharti Airtel from Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), a prominent entity within the promoter group. This acquisition, representing a 0.8% direct stake in Bharti Airtel, is valued at approximately S$0.7 billion, equivalent to ₹5,849 crore.

The transaction marks the latest development in Singtel Group’s strategic efforts towards capital recycling, aimed at unlocking value from its assets. Singtel emphasized its commitment to this strategy, stating that this move brings the total capital recycled to a notable S$8 billion since its strategic reset in 2021.

Arthur Lang, the Chief Financial Officer of Singtel, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the transaction, highlighting the significant capital raised and the addition of a renowned name to Airtel’s shareholder base. Lang remarked, “The Group is now in an even stronger position to execute our disciplined capital approach of balancing investing for greater growth and delivering strong, sustainable returns for our shareholders.”

Singtel also emphasized its confidence in Airtel’s growth trajectory, citing its steady performance across all business segments and strong market valuations. With India’s accelerated digital transformation paving the way for further growth opportunities, Singtel expressed its intent to maintain a long-term investment stance in collaboration with Bharti Enterprises to equalize their effective stake in Airtel over time.

As a result of the transaction, Singtel’s effective stake in Bharti Airtel has reduced from 29.8% to 29%. This move follows a previous divestment by Singtel earlier in 2022, wherein it sold a 3.3% direct stake in Airtel for approximately S$2.54 billion.

Market reaction to the news has been positive, with shares of Bharti Airtel Ltd trading 0.36% higher at ₹1,198 apiece on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) during today’s morning trade. Notably, the stock has exhibited strong performance, gaining 18.30% since the beginning of this year.

The acquisition by GQG Partners underscores the attractiveness of Bharti Airtel as an investment opportunity, particularly within the dynamic landscape of India’s telecommunications sector. With Singtel’s continued commitment to capital optimization and GQG Partners’ entry into Airtel’s shareholder base, the stage is set for further developments and strategic initiatives within the industry.

As stakeholders monitor the evolving landscape, the transaction serves as a testament to the ongoing transformation and growth potential within Bharti Airtel, positioning it as a key player in India’s digital future.

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