Vodafone Group is looking to sell its entire $2.3 billion stake in India's Indus Towers through stock market block deals next week, two sources with direct knowledge said, as part of the British firm's effort to repay debt.

Vodafone owns 21.5% of mobile-tower operator Indus via various group entities. As of Friday's closing stock price in Mumbai, the investment is worth $2.3 billion.

The final size of the stake sale is yet to be decided and could be lower than 21.5% if demand, which is still being assessed, is insufficient, said the sources, who declined to be named as the discussions were private.

Shares of Vodafone Idea extended gains, rising as much as 4.8% after the Reuters report, while Indus Towers pared gains and closed up 0.3%.

Vodafone India and its British parent did not respond to requests for comment. Indus Towers declined to comment.

Vodafone has hired Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas to manage the stake sale in Indian stock markets, the sources said.

Bank of America declined to comment while the others did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Vodafone in 2022 announced it would sell all of its then-28% stake, but has managed to sell only a small portion so far. The sources said the talks with rival telecom firms for a stake sale had not materialised.

Vodafone plans to repay part of its $42.17 billion net debt using proceeds from the Indus stake sale, the sources said.

Indus, which says it is one of the world's biggest tower companies, also counts India's second biggest telecom firm, Bharti Airtel, as a shareholder. It has nearly 220,000 towers, with services also including providing power, space and green technology for tower equipment.

Private equity giant KKR and Canadian fund CPPIB were also investors in Indus, but sold their entire stakes in February.

Block deals, where investors sell shares in stock markets, have become increasingly popular in India as the market has surged to record highs.

In March, British American Tobacco sold its entire $2 billion stake in Indian tobacco firm ITC.

For the March 2024 quarter, Indus' net profit rose 20% to $221 million, while its revenue stayed flat at $860 million, according to regulatory filings. ($1 = 0.7873 pounds)

(Reporting by M. Sriram in Mumbai, additional reporting by Paul Sandle in London and Yagnoseni Biswas in Bengaluru, editing by Aditya Kalra, Susan Fenton and Alexander Smith)