Bharti Infratel IPO may raise up to $825 million: sources

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:00am IST

The sun rises behind a communications tower in New Delhi March 20, 2006. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files

The sun rises behind a communications tower in New Delhi March 20, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/B Mathur/Files

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MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Bharti Infratel Ltd, the telecommunications tower unit of phone carrier Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS), is likely to raise up to $825 million in what would be the country's biggest IPO in two years, sources with direct knowledge said.

The company is expected to set a price band of 210 rupees to 240 rupees a share for its IPO, which will be launched on December 10 and close on December 14, said the sources, declining to be named before an official announcement.

The offering - 188.9 million shares or 10 percent of Bharti Infratel - is set to be India's biggest IPO in two years after state-run Coal India Ltd (COAL.NS) raised $3.5 billion in October 2010.

A Bharti Group spokesman was not immediately available for a comment on the price band. The Bharti Infratel management will decide and formally announce the IPO price band on Friday, the sources said.

Bharti Infratel which is controlled by billionaire Sunil Mittal has called a news conference in New Delhi on Friday for the planned IPO.

At the upper end of the price band, Bharti Infratel will raise about 45.3 billion rupees; at the low end, it will raise 39.7 billion rupees.

Bharti Infratel is selling 146.2 million new shares in the IPO, while four of its shareholders including arms of Singapore state investor Temasek and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) are selling 42.7 million shares, according to a regulatory filing.

Bharti Airtel, which owns about 86 percent of Bharti Infratel, is not selling any shares.

Bharti Infratel has more than 33,000 mobile phone masts and also holds a 42 percent stake of Indus Towers, the world's biggest telecoms tower company, with about 110,000 towers in India.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, as well as India's Kotak Mahindra and Enam are advising Bharti Infratel on the IPO. (Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Steve Orlofsky)

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