Maxis may inject up to $900m in Aircel

Dylan Bushell-Embling
28 May 2013

Malaysia's Maxis is reportedly likely to inject up to $900 million in its debt-laden Indian subsidiary Aircel, as part of a refinancing plan for the joint venture.

Maxis has pledged the investment as part of negotiations with Aircel's creditors to refinance its $3.5 billion in debt, sources close to the talks toldthe Times of India.

Aircel has also proposed to raise equity through the sale of wireless broadband spectrum it acquired during India's 2010 BWA auction.

Maxis owns a 74% stake in Aircel, the maximum allowed under India's telecom foreign investment rules.

Many Indian operators have been struggling under high debt burdens after having to raise funds for the $8 billion BWA auction and a $15 billion 3G auction in the same year.

At the same time, a series of regulatory interventions have hampered growth in the Indian telecom sector. Faced with these difficulties, Aircel has had to scale down operations in five of its operating circles.

The company is reportedly also eager to take part in an anticipated wave of consolidation for the Indian telecom sector, but talks with potential M&A partners have been put on hold.

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