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Bharti Airtel's Netherlands unit prices $1 bln bond issue at 325 bps over 10-yr US treasury note

New Delhi: India's largest telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel Ltd Tuesday said that its subsidiary Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV has priced its $1 billion bond issue, which was nearly 9.5 times over-subscribed, at 325 basis points over the 10-year US Treasury Note.

"The Notes were nearly 9.5 times over-subscribed with an order book aggregating $9.5 billion from high quality investor accounts.... The Notes have been priced at c. 325 basis points over the 10-year US Treasury Note, representing fixed interest of 5.125% per annum, with interest payable semi-annually in arrears," Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

The proceeds raised from the bond issue, the largest ever issuance from an Indian telecom company, will be used to primarily refinance its existing debt.

As on Dec 31, 2012, Bharti Airtel had a total net debt of Rs 642.83 billion, mainly arising from the acquisition of African operations of Kuwait's Zain for around $10.7 billion and purchase of third generation (3G) spectrum in India for a hefty sum of Rs 122.95 billion in 2010.

Seven foreign banks, including Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank, were the merchant bankers to the issue.

In Jan, India's largest private sector business conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd raised $800 million through issuance of dollar-denominated unsecured perpetual notes at a coupon rate of 5.87%, making it the first issuance of perpetual bonds below 6% in the world.

Copyright Contify.com

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