Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has bought an additional 1.52 per cent stake in India’s largest private telecom Bharti Airtel and will pay up to Rs 3008.4 crore in three installments ranging over 18 months.

In a notice to Singapore Stock Exchange, SingTel said it has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement with Bharti Group entity to buy an additional 7,30,000 issued shares in Bharti Telecom, a promoter company of Bharti Airtel.

“The acquisition is in line with SingTel’s strategic focus on maximising the value of its existing businesses,” the company said.

SingTel’s wholly-owned subsidiary Pastel will pay between Rs 1807.3 crore to Rs 3,008.4 crore, depending upon prevailing market prices for Airtel shares.

Going by the said transaction value, Bharti Airtel has been valued in the range between Rs 1.18 lakh crore and Rs 1.97 lakh crore.

When contacted, a Bharti spokesperson confirmed the deal with SingTel.

Bharti Airtel’s shares have been hammered at the Bombay Stock Exchange due to increased competition and pressure on its bottom line, as it touched its 52-week low on October 30, 2009 at Rs 290.30 a share of Rs five face value.

As per the schedule of the payment, Pastel will pay an initial amount of Rs 242 crore and on the completion of 365 days a second payment equal to Rs 1565.3 crore will be made.

On the date falling 540 days after completion date, a payment adjustment of no more than Rs 1201.1 crore, if applicable, as determined in accordance with the Share Purchase Agreement, will be made.

Bharti Telecom is a promoter company of Bharti Airtel Limited and holds approximately 45.3 per cent of the share capital of Bharti Airtel.

As a result of the acquisition, SingTel’s effective interest in Bharti Telecom will increase from 32.81 per cent to 36.16 per cent and its effective interest in Bharti Airtel from 30.43 per cent to 31.95 per cent.

Bharti Airtel continues to enjoy over 25 per cent market share in burgeoning mobile market and has over 110 million subscribers.

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