Bharti Airtel today said it has received bilateral financing commitments of up to $2.5 billion from China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with an average maturity of about nine years.
The funds would help the company diversify its global financing pool and invest in growth of data networks.
China Development Bank has committed $2 billion credit line, while the Industrial and Commercial of China has offered $500 million credit line. With about nine-years in average maturity, these will be the longest bilateral commitments in India by the two banks, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
This is the "single-largest bilateral commitment by China Development Bank to any telecom operator globally and the largest bilateral commitment to a private Indian company".
Transactions are subjected to requisite approvals, as applicable, including RBI approvals.
Bharti Airtel signed the term sheets for the financing options in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently on an official visit to China.
Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises said, “We are pleased to sign these agreements as part of the growing economic cooperation between India and China. It is an endorsement of the long term potential of the Indian telecom sector. Given the availability period of three years, these financings shall further add to the financial flexibility that the Company already has. These shall further extend tenors, enabling investments for furtherance of the Digital India initiative.”
In March this year,Bharti Airtel had announced a strategic collaboration with China Mobile, under which, the two companies will work towards the growth of the LTE ecosystem and evolving mobile technology standards. It also has network equipment sourcing agreements with ZTE and Huawei. These financings further compliment the strong collaboration with Chinese partners.