Bharti Airtel, which closed the Zain acquisition yesterday has been one of the biggest gainers on the Nifty today (See: Bharti acquires Zain, becomes world's fifth largest mobile operator). The company's share was quoting at Rs270 up Rs12.2 or 4.73 per cent in a market that was mildly strong according to analysts.
Rating agency Standard & Poor's chose to play spoilsport though and lowered the company's rating to BB+ from BBB- due to worsening leverage and cash flow ratios.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Akhil Gupta, deputy group CEO and MD, Bharti Enterprises said he absolutely disagreed with S&P's assessment.
"We see no reason why our business will go down. We have built up net cash positions in the past for major acquisitions. Every good company should have a reasonable amount of debt."
According to Gupta, Bharti's net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) now stands at 2.75 times.
"Bharti Airtel is a debt-averse firm. We expect net debt to EBITDA to be less than 2.5 and 2 times in 12 and 24 months, respectively." He stated that the company has an operating free cash flow of around $2 billion.