November 8, 2017 / 6:29 AM / 5 months ago

BREAKINGVIEWS-Qatar makes timely escape from Indian telecoms

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

By Una Galani

MUMBAI, Nov 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) - A decision to sell a $1.5 bln stake in Bharti Airtel may have been forced. The four-year investment nevertheless brings a decent return from a savaged industry. A price war could ease after recent consolidation, but India’s top operator faces more challenges from a bold upstart.

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- An affiliate investor of the Qatar Foundation is selling a 5 percent stake in India’s Bharti Airtel for about 95 billion rupees ($1.5 billion), according to a deal term sheet circulated on Nov. 8 seen by Reuters Breakingviews.

- Three Pillars is aiming to sell 199.9 million shares in a price range of 473 to 490 rupees each, a discount of up to 8 percent to Bharti’s closing price on Tuesday.

- The Qatari investor paid a price of 340 rupees per share, or a total of 68 billion rupees, for the stake in 2013.

- UBS is acting as the placement agent on the disposal.

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