Vodafone Group has confirmed it has sold an 18 percent stake in Indian tower company Indus Towers.

The telco said it has sold 484.7 million shares worth €1.7 billion ($1.8bn).

Vodafone UK
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Vodafone noted that gross proceeds from the sale will be used to "substantially repay Vodafone’s existing lenders in relation to the outstanding bank borrowings of €1.8bn ($1.93bn) secured against Vodafone’s Indian assets."

Following the sale of the shares, Vodafone's remaining holding in Indus is 3.1 percent.

The telco had been linked with a full sale from Indus, worth $2.3bn last week, as Vodafone seeks to repay its debt, which stands at around $42.17 billion.

Indus operates around 220,000 cell towers in India, with Bharti Airtel also a shareholder in the company. Airtel's stake in the company is worth 47.8 percent.

Reuters reported today that Airtel has increased its stake slightly to 49 percent, following Vodafone's sale today.

It's not clear which company or investors took the rest of the stake.

Private equity giant KKR and Canadian fund CPPIB sold their stakes in Indus in February.

Today's sale adds to Vodafone's recent $5bn sale of its Spanish business to Zegona, plus the planned $8.7bn sale of its Italian unit to Swisscom.