Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said its board has approved the telecom operator's proposal to raise $3 billion (approximate Rs 21,100 crore) through various modes like equity, debt and equity-based instruments among others.
The company will utilise the fund to pay dues emerging from a recent Supreme Court order on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR). On October 24, 2019, the Supreme Court upheld the Department of Telecommunications' (DoT) demand that non-telecom revenues should be part of the AGR. The total estimated dues of the company is 35,586 crore in form of licence fees, spectrum usage charges (SUC), interest and penalties. Of this, Rs 21,682 crore is licence fee and another Rs 13,904 crore is the spectrum usage charges (not including the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).
"The board has approved a proposal to raise $2 billion through qualified institutions placement or private offerings of equity shares, compulsory convertible debentures / other convertible securities / warrants / ADR / GDR or a combination thereof," Bharti Airtel said in a filing to Bombay Stock Exchange.
The company will raise another $1 billion in one or more tranches through issuance of unsecured or secured, listed or unlisted, Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) or other similar security denominated in foreign currencies.
The board has also authorised the special committee of directors for taking necessary steps for implementing the aforesaid proposals, it said in the exchange filing.
Airtel, which is reeling under heavy debt, reported the highest-ever quarterly loss of Rs 23,045 crore during the second quarter ended September 30, 2019. The company has provided Rs 28,450 crore as a charge for the quarter with respect to the licence fee as estimated based on the Supreme Court's verdict.
Last month, Airtel filed a review petition in the Supreme Court for the waiver of interest fee and penalty in the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case. As per the court order, the telco has to clear the dues within three months, i.e. January 24. However, in a respite to the telecom operators, the government approved a two-year moratorium on payment of pending spectrum dues.
Ahead of the announcement, shares of Bharti Airtel closed trade at Rs 460.85 apiece, up 0.41 per cent, on the BSE.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar