India’s Airtel sells $508m stake amid Jio fight

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel sold a half-billion-dollar stake in its mobile tower business yesterday to help shrink its debts as it reels from a price war sparked by rival Reliance Jio.

Airtel, which recently reported a 77 per cent slump in quarterly profits, said in a statement that it had sold 83 million shares worth 33.25 billion rupees ($508 million) in Bharti Infratel.

Bharti Airtel will primarily use the proceeds from this sale to reduce its debt, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange in Indias financial capital Mumbai. The shares were bought by global investors and fund managers, the statement added.

It came a day after Idea Cellular and Vodafone India announced the sale of 20,000 mobile phone towers to American Tower Corp for

78.5 billion rupees as it seeks funds to fend off Jio, which is owned by Indias richest man.

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