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Idea’s board approves ₹10,000Cr fund raise via private bonds

Idea Cellular’s board of directors have approved to raise Rs 10,000 crore via unsecured redeemable bonds (issued in multiple tranches) on a private placement basis, the company informed stock exchanges today. The telco had proposed to sell at least 6 different tranches of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in the past 6 months, which offer varying rates of interest. Below is a lowdown:

-In February, Idea proposed to raise Rs 1000 crore via private placement bonds with an interest rate of 8.12% per annum.
– In the same month, the company proposed to raise Rs 500 crore via private bonds with an interest rate of 8.03% per annum.
-In January, the company proposed to raise Rs 2000 crore by issuing private bonds which offer 8.04% as interest per annum.
-The same month, Idea proposed to raise Rs 500 crore by way of private bonds with an interest rate of 7.77%. It also issued another proposal to raise Rs 1,500 crore via private bonds with an interest rate of 7.57%.
-In December last year, Idea issued unsecured redeemable NCDs worth Rs 1,500 crore with a 7.57% interest rate in the NSE.

Where Idea plans to invest

During a recent analyst call, the company’s MD and Director Himanshu Kapania said that Idea will allocate Rs 60 billion (6000Cr) as capital expenditure (CapEx) for FY 2017-18, primarily for building wireless broadband infrastructure, apart from active equipment sharing arrangements. Kapania said that Idea spent close to Rs 155 billion in CapEx in the past two years alone for expanding its wireless capacity. He also added that telecom companies are now focusing on building more broadband capacity (due to Jio’s entry) as opposed to the “age-old approach” of building capacity only when required or when demand goes up.

In November last year, it had initiated a 3G/4G upgrade in all of its 17 circles it operated in. By May 2017, Idea said that its 4G services are live in 20 circles excluding Kolkata and Delhi. It now aims to expand availability across these circles on all standards including 2G, 3G and 4G s by adding 300,000 new cell sites. See here for a lowdown of Idea’s current cellular capacity.

Financials

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-The company reported a revenue decline of 1%, at Rs 35,575.7 crore for FY17, down from Rs 35,949.4 crore in FY16.
-EBITDA during FY17 year dropped by 14.1%” to Rs. 10,276.3 crore versus Rs 11,967.5 crore in FY16.
-It also reported a post-tax loss of Rs 407.5 crore in FY17 on a standalone basis.

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