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Bharti Said to Pick JPMorgan, Barclays for $1 Billion Tower IPO

Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s largest telephone company, picked eight banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclays Plc to manage an initial share sale of its towers unit, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Bharti Airtel, based in New Delhi, may sell shares in Bharti Infratel Ltd. in the first quarter of 2013, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are confidential.

The IPO could raise about $1 billion, the people said, making it the largest in India since state-owned Coal India Ltd.’s $3.5 billion sale in October 2010. IPO fundraising in the country has tumbled this year as the economy slowed, with just $303 million of deals completed, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Bharti, which had named Standard Chartered last year to help it tap the markets, also mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Enam Securities Pvt., HSBC Holdings Plc, Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. and UBS AG this week for the sale, the people said.

Bharti Airtel in December 2007 agreed to sell a $1 billion stake in the towers unit to investors including Temasek Holdings Pte, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. Two months later, Bharti Infratel said KKR & Co., the leveraged- buyout firm led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, agreed to invest $250 million in a deal that valued the company at $12.5 billion.

Bharti Airtel spokesman Raza Khan declined to comment.

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