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Vodafone Group Plans Major Stake Sale in Indus Towers to Repay Debt

Vodafone Group is planning to divest its entire $2.3 billion stake in India’s Indus Towers via stock market block deals next week, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. This move is part of the British company’s strategy to reduce its debt.

Currently, Vodafone holds a 21.5% stake in the mobile-tower operator Indus through various group entities. Based on Friday’s closing stock price in Mumbai, this stake is valued at $2.3 billion.

The exact size of the stake sale is not yet finalized and could be less than 21.5% if demand falls short of expectations, as per the sources who requested anonymity due to the private nature of the discussions.

Vodafone India and its UK parent company did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Indus Towers also declined to comment.

Vodafone has engaged Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and BNP Paribas to oversee the stake sale in Indian stock markets, according to the sources. Bank of America declined to comment, while the other firms did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

In 2022, Vodafone announced plans to sell its then-28% stake in Indus Towers but has only succeeded in selling a small portion so far. The sources indicated that discussions with rival telecom firms for a stake sale had not been fruitful.

Proceeds from the Indus stake sale will help Vodafone repay part of its $42.17 billion net debt, according to the sources.

Indus Towers, one of the world’s largest tower companies, also includes India’s second-largest telecom firm, Bharti Airtel, as a shareholder. Indus operates nearly 220,000 towers, providing power, space, and green technology for tower equipment.

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