Airtel denies Vodafone interest in tower stake

Airtel denies Vodafone interest in tower stake

Bharti Airtel denied media reports claiming it was in the hunt for Vodafone Group’s shares in Indus Towers.

In a stock exchange update, Bharti Airtel said: “The Company has no desire to raise its stake beyond what is required for financial consolidation of Indus in the Company, which shall be done as and when appropriate with compliance of applicable disclosure requirements.

“Indus is a provider of critical infrastructure services to the telecom industry and Airtel relies heavily on it. Airtel will therefore always ensure that Indus remains in robust health and financially stable.”

Local media reported Vodafone was seeking to sell off its 21% stake in Indus to raise funds to pay off some debts in its Indian unit Vodafone Idea. The operator apparently failed to make monthly rental payments for use of towers and hadn’t gained any new funds. Its debts now stand at around INR56 billion to Indus, after making an INR3 billion payment in January.

Vodafone had sold 7.1% of its stake in Indus in 2022 and has long sought buyers for its shares in the tower company. Bharti Airtel is the largest shareholder of Indus with 48%, and merged with Indus in 2020.

Indus has around 212,000 towers across 22 locations as of end-2023. 

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.