MILBANK ADVISES UNDERWRITERS IN US$2 BILLION DUAL CURRENCY INTERNATIONAL BOND OFFERING BY INDIA’S BIGGEST TELECOM, BHARTI AIRTEL
Largest debt issuance ever by an Indian firm, offering is denominated in US dollars and euros
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy advised major underwriters of the approximately US$2 billion international dual currency debt issuance by Bharti Airtel. It was the largest bond offering ever by an Indian company.
In what is also the first dual currency securities offering by an Indian firm, Bharti raised about US$1 billion in 5.350% notes due 2024, and €750 million in 3.375% notes due 2021. Proceeds will be used to refinance current debt.
Milbank Singapore-based Securities partner Naomi Ishikawa led the Milbank team advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, JPMorgan, and Standard Chartered. New Delhi-based Axon Partners LLC also acted as counsel to the underwriters.
Bharti Airtel, headquartered in New Delhi, provides wireless and fiber-optic communications across India and in 20 Asian and African countries. It is one of the largest mobile-service operators in the world.
“We are delighted to have played a part in Bharti’s historic and stunningly successful international capital markets offering,” Ms. Ishikawa said. “The results demonstrate the strength of investor confidence in Bharti’s developing-country strategy and also continued demand for modern telecom services in all parts of the globe.”
“This represents another in a long line of financings by the Bharti Group that we’ve had the privilege to work on,” added Milbank partner Glenn Gerstell, who heads the firm’s India practice out of Washington, D.C. “The various financings have ranged from record bond offerings to the precedent setting IPO of Bharti Infratel. Now that the recent national elections have positioned India for a period of political stability, we expect to see a significant increase in Indian corporates accessing the international capital markets.”
Ms. Ishikawa was assisted by associates Leroy Langeveld, Jim McFarlane and Adrian Yeo.