NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel and the Vodafone Group Plc are in talks with a consortium led by private equity firm KKR to slash their stakes by over half in the company that will be created by the imminent merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers. This could lead to a change in management at the merged entity, which will be among the world’s largest tower companies. “The combined entity is being valued at $12-13 billion and once Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers merge, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Group are aiming to bring their stakes down to around 13% each,” a person with knowledge of the development told ET. The merger of the tower companies, which has been in the making for about a year, is expected to come to fruition along these lines shortly, sources said. KKR Could Hold up to 32% After the merger, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Group, which currently own 42% each in Indus Towers, will hold 37.2% and 29.4%, respectively. KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) will own a combined 6%, stemming from their stake of over 10% in Bharti Infratel. Vodafone Idea, currently holding over 11% in Indus, is expected to exit at… Read full this story
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