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Vodafone Raises $1.8 Billion in Indus Towers Stake Sale

In Technology
June 19, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Vodafone Group Plc subsidiaries have raised about $1.8 billion in proceeds by selling shares in India’s Indus Towers Ltd.

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The companies sold 484.7 million shares at 311.4 rupees each, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. The block deals, executed on local exchanges, represent a stake of about 18% in Indus Towers.

Chief Executive Officer Margherita Della Valle, who took the reigns last year, has sold off underperforming markets and worked to scale back a sprawling empire. Vodafone shares rose 0.8% to 71.20 pence in London trading at 8:29 a.m.

The British company increased the number of shares offered ahead of the sale by about 80%, according to the terms of the offering. The shares were sold near the bottom of a range of 310 rupees to 341 rupees.

The significant increase in offering shows “there is demand for Indian paper as well as liquidity available to absorb large sales,” said Sunil Shah, group CEO at Mumbai-based Khambatta Securities Ltd. With multiple large blocks successfully executed on Indian exchanges, it will be easier for investors to exit holdings, he added.

The Indus Towers block was the biggest of a series of block trades launched in the Indian market between Tuesday and Wednesday, as shareholders rushed to tap investors increasing exposure to India’s surging equities market.

Wireless carrier Bharti Airtel, which owns about 48% stake in Indus Towers, said it bought an additional 1% holding in the company via block trades.

The shares of Indus Towers slumped as much as 9.6% following the block trades but pared the decline to 4.2% on Wednesday in Mumbai. They are still up more than 65% this year, one of the best performers on BSE Ltd.’s gauge of telecom stocks.

Bank of America Corp., BNP Paribas SA, Jefferies Financial Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley arranged the block sale.

(Adds trader’s comment in the fifth paragraph)

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