The initial public offering (IPO) of Bharti Infratel — the largest since Coal India (CIL) hit the markets more than two years ago — closed successfully on Friday thanks to strong interest from institutional investors. The tower company, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator by subscribers, should mop up close to Rs 4,500 crore. CIL had raised Rs 15,475 crore issue in October 2010 just before the Sensex hit a lifetime high in early November.
Retail investors and high net worth individuals (HNIs) by and large stayed away from the issue. Data on stock exchanges showed the IPO was subscribed 1.3 times with bids coming in for 20.82 crore shares against the 16.06 crore shares on offer in the price band of Rs 210 to Rs 240 apiece.
The institutional portion of the IPO was subscribed 2.84 times with foreign investors accounting for bulk of the bids — 18.02 crore shares — amounting to more than Rs 4,300 crore. Domestic financial institutions and mutual funds bid for 33.49 lakh shares and 43.48 lakh shares, respectively. However, the quotas reserved for retail investors and HNIs were subscribed only 0.2 and 0.3 times, respectively.