S&R advises Vodafone on two Indus Tower equity sales


S&R Associates represented multinational telecom company Vodafone Group in its INR14.2 billion (USD187 million) bulk sale of 63.6 million equity shares of Indus Towers on the NSE.

S&R also acted for Vodafone’s proposed sale of 127.1 million equity shares (4.7% of outstanding share capital) of Indus Towers to Bharti Airtel. AZB & Partners advised Bharti Airtel, which is an existing promoter of Indus Towers.

While Vodafone executed the deal for the sale of 63.6 million equity shares on 24 February, Bharti Airtel announced on 25 February that it was to buy the 4.7% equity interest in Indus Towers.

S&R’s team on both deals was led by partners Rajat Sethi, Tanya Aggarwal and Lakshmi Pradeep, and included associates Meher Mehta and Komal Parakh.

Bharti Airtel said it would acquire Vodafone’s 4.7% equity in Indus Towers “on the principal condition” that the amount paid be inducted by Vodafone as fresh equity in Vodafone Idea and simultaneously remitted to Indus Towers to clear Vodafone Idea’s outstanding dues.

Vodafone said that after the completion of the sale of shares to Bharti Airtel, its residual shareholding in Indus Towers would be 567.2 million shares, which was equivalent to a 21% shareholding.

The company said it was in discussions with several parties about a potential sale of the residual shareholding, but was uncertain whether an agreement would be reached. It said Indus Towers would continue to have a secondary pledge over the residual shareholding, ranking behind the security provided to Vodafone’s existing lenders for the EUR1.4 billion loan (USD1.5 billion) used to fund Vodafone’s contribution to the Vodafone Idea rights issue in 2019.