Bharti Infratel Raises About $763 Million in India Share Sale

Bharti Infratel Ltd., a unit of India’s largest wireless operator, raised about 41.7 billion rupees ($763 million) in the country’s biggest initial public offering in two years.

The New Delhi-based owner of wireless telecommunications towers, sold shares to institutions and wealthy individuals at 220 rupees apiece, it said in an e-mailed statement. Bharti also sold stock to so-called anchor and retail investors.

The shares were marketed at between 210 rupees and 240 rupees each, according to the IPO prospectus. Institutions and wealthy individuals bid for all of the 148.4 million shares reserved for them, while retail investors sought to acquire 12.2 million shares, according to data on the National Stock Exchange’s website on Dec 14.

The IPO is the largest since state-owned Coal India Ltd. raised about 155 billion rupees in October 2010, and comes after India’s benchmark BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 25 percent this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Indian companies and the government sought over $2 billion in share sales last week as stock market gains reignited demand for new equity.

The company, controlled by Bharti Airtel Ltd., sold shares to retail investors for 210 rupees each, it said today. Bharti Infratel already sold 28.3 million shares to 18 anchor investors at 230 rupees, the company said on Dec. 10.

Bharti Airtel’s shares fell 3.7 percent to 300.95 rupees as of 3:30 p.m. Mumbai time today.

KKR Valuation

The offering, of 10 percent of Bharti Infratel, values the company at about $7.6 billion. In 2008, KKR & Co., the New York-based buyout firm, agreed to invest $250 million in Bharti Infratel, valuing the company at $12.5 billion.

Bharti Infratel operates 34,220 towers used by mobile telecom companies, its prospectus shows. The company’s consolidated revenues rose to 94.52 billion rupees in the year through March, from 85.08 billion rupees a year before, according to the prospectus.

Sales may rise to 105 billion rupees in the year ending March, according to an estimate by BRICS Securities Ltd.

The offering range values Bharti Infratel at 42.7 to 48.3 times expected 2013 earnings of 18.4 billion rupees, BRICS analyst Sushil Sharma wrote in a Dec. 11 note to clients. That compares with 30.3 times at its parent company, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Exit Opportunity

Sharma recommended that investors subscribe to the offering.

Bharti Infratel’s offering comes after India’s government last week raised about $1.1 billion by selling a 10 percent stake in NMDC Ltd., India’s largest iron ore producer. IPOs by PC Jeweller Ltd. and Credit Analysis & Research Ltd., seeking about $240 million, were several times oversubscribed last week.

Indian stocks are poised for their biggest annual advance since 2009, after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opened the nation to more overseas investment to revive growth and avert a downgrade of India’s credit rating.

The listing will provide an exit for companies such as Temasek Holdings Pte, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc., which bought a $1 billion stake in 2007. As part of the offering Bharti Infratel sold shares to 18 anchor investors, including Alliance Bernstein and Wellington Management Co., who agreed to hold the shares for at least 30 days.

Standard Chartered Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc, Bank of America Corp., Enam Securities Pvt., HSBC Holdings Plc, Kotak Mahindra Capital Co., Deutsche Bank AG and UBS AG managed the sale.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE