Bharti Airtel is planning to raise about $1 billion (Rs 6,900 crore) through overseas loans, The Economic Times reported on Wednesday.
The telecoms operator is likely to use funds to refinance its high-cost debt to free up cash for capex investments needed to expand its 4G network to take on Reliance Jio Infocomm and the Vodafone-Idea Cellular combine, the report said citing two people familiar with the matter.
Billionaire Sunil Mittal-controlled Airtel is in talks with investment bankers to raise the syndicated loan in a month or two, the report said.
An email sent to Bharti Airtel did not elicit a response at the time of publishing the story.
Reliance Industries' telecoms venture, Jio, has upended India’s telecoms sector with its cheap mobile data plans.
Since its launch in 2016, Jio has roiled India’s telecoms sector by offering free calls and cut-price data plans, forcing rivals such as Bharti Airtel to respond with price cuts of their own and spurring consolidation such as the one involving Vodafone and Idea.
Last week, Reliance's billionaire chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled a mega fixed-line broadband initiative and announced plans for an e-commerce platform that may rival the likes of Amazon.
Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.
First Published: IST