Let the good times ring

Bharti Infratel's Akhil Gupta sold over 7 lakh shares in two tranches in the open market

Akhil Gupta seems to be making a good call as far as sprucing up his stake is concerned. The chairman of the country’s largest tower player Bharti Infratel has been vested with over 7.5 lakh shares, even as he sold over 7 lakh shares in two tranches in the open market at an average price of ₹388 a share. Gupta currently holds 0.12% stake in the tower company, which has 85,892 towers across 22 circles on a consolidated basis.

With its widespread portfolio of towers, the company is indispensable in the telecom infrastructure space. It posted a tower and tenancy growth of 3% and 7% in FY12-15, leading to a 32% increase in rental revenue over the same period. With Airtel, Idea and Vodafone as anchor tenants, who together control about 70% market share, the company will benefit from increasing traffic as data volume increases. Against such a backdrop, the stock has gained 64% over the past one year. A recent rally has taken the company’s valuations to 36X its trailing 12-month earnings and an EV to Ebitda ratio of 16X, both of which are the highest in the telecom sector. But with growth kicking in, Gupta has little reason to worry.