Bharti Infratel prices IPO, raising about $764 mln

NEW DELHI Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:17pm IST

A Bharti Airtel advertisement board is installed against the backdrop of company's telecommunication tower in Kochi November 30, 2012. REUTERS/Sivaram V/Files

A Bharti Airtel advertisement board is installed against the backdrop of company's telecommunication tower in Kochi November 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Sivaram V/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian telecommunications tower operator Bharti Infratel Ltd priced its initial public offering near the lower end of an indicative price range, raising about $764 million in the country's biggest IPO in two years.

Bharti Infratel, a unit of top Indian mobile phone carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS), said it fixed a price of 220 rupees a share for funds and wealthy investors and 210 rupees a share for retail investors. The company had set an indicative price range of 210-240 rupees for the IPO.

The IPO, which closed on Friday, was subscribed 1.3 times. In a pre-IPO sale, Bharti Infratel had agreed to allot shares to cornerstone investors at 230 rupees a share.

According to Reuters calculations, the share sale should have raised about 41.8 billion rupees and values Bharti Infratel at about $7.6 billion.

Bharti Infratel was selling more than three quarters of the total 188.9 million shares on offer, while four of its private equity investors, including arms of Temasek and Goldman Sachs (GS.N), were selling the remainder.

Parent Bharti Airtel, which owned 86 percent of the tower operator before the IPO, was not selling any share.

Bharti Infratel plans to build new towers and upgrade existing towers with the IPO funds.

The shares should be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange towards the end of the month, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter, although the listing date is yet to be finalised.

Shares of Bharti Airtel, owned nearly a third by Singapore Telecommunications (STEL.SI), were down 3.6 percent on Monday afternoon in a Mumbai market that was down 0.4 percent.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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