Updated April 24th, 2024 at 11:28 IST

No plans to purchase Vodafone's Indus Towers stake: Airtel

Airtel denied any talks about acquiring Vodafone UK's stake in Indus Towers, stressing its priority to maintain its current stake for financial consolidation.

Reported by: Business Desk
Airtel denies acquisition | Image:Shutterstock
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Airtel denies acquisition: Airtel, the telecom giant, clarified on Wednesday that it is not engaged in discussions to acquire Vodafone UK's stake in Indus Towers, contrary to a media report published earlier today. Airtel stressed that its interest lies solely in maintaining its current stake for financial consolidation purposes, subject to appropriate disclosure requirements.

Vodafone Idea support

The report suggested that if such a deal were to occur, Vodafone Group might inject some of the proceeds into its struggling venture, Vodafone Idea, jointly owned with Aditya Birla Group.

Airtel, led by billionaire Sunil Mittal, holds the largest stake in Indus Towers at 47.95 per cent. However, there has been no response from Vodafone Group, Vodafone Idea, or Indus Towers regarding these speculations.

Deal valuation dispute

According to earlier published media reports, discussions regarding the potential deal have hit a roadblock due to valuation disagreements. Airtel reportedly seeks a valuation of Rs 210-212 per share, citing the level at which shares were sold by US private equity fund KKR and Canadian pension fund Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in February.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea recently secured Rs 2,075 crore in equity funding from Aditya Birla Group entity Oriana Investments through preferential shares. This move is part of a larger plan to raise funds amounting to Rs 20,000 crore through equity and Rs 25,000 crore via debt, aimed at enhancing its network services, including the rollout of 5G technology and expanding its 4G coverage. Notably, Airtel's major competitors, Airtel itself and Reliance Jio, have already launched 5G services across most parts of India.

(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published April 24th, 2024 at 11:28 IST