Top global investors queue up for Airtel’s $1.25 billion bond issue

Top global investors queue up for Airtel’s $1.25 billion bond issue

Kolkata: Marquee investors and bond funds including Pacific Investment Management (Pimco), Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Fidelity, BlackRock, TIAA, Loomis Sayles, Nan Shan Life, Ashmore Investment and Amundi Asset Management are believed to have participated in ’s $1.25-billion overseas fundraise through a mix of senior and perpetual bonds.

“Proceeds will be used for capex, repayment of existing indebtedness, and/or any other purpose in compliance with end-use guidelines set forth in FEMA ECB regulations and all other applicable laws and regulations,” Airtel said in an exchange filing on Thursday.

The Sunil Mittal-led telco said it priced $750 million worth of senior 10.25-year bonds at a yield of 187.5 basis points for an implied coupon of 3.250%. Network i2i, Airtel’s wholly owned Mauritius arm, in turn, priced $500 million of guaranteed subordinated perpetual 5.25-year bonds at a coupon of 3.975%.

Top Global Investors Queue up for Airtel’s $1.25-b Bond Issue

Airtel is building a war chest as it needs cash to buy spectrum in the upcoming 4G auction, invest in networks, and also pay statutory dues, among other needs, industry insiders said.

The company said the two sets of overseas bonds offering were “significantly oversubscribed” with strong demand from marquee Asian, European and US funds.

This is the largest fundraise by any Indian investment grade issuer since January 2019, it said. This is also “the lowest ever dollar funding cost on 10-year and perpetual debt for Airtel”.

The company did not respond to ET’s queries on the bidders. Individual investors, in turn, could not be reached immediately for comments.

The company shares closed 1.06% up at ₹579.15 on the BSE on Thursday.

“Strong reception of both our senior and perpetual bonds by high quality global investor community reflects its confidence in our business and credit,” said Ashish Sardana, Airtel’s group treasurer.

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