Airtel gets govt nod to offload 15% stake in DTH arm to Warburg Pincus
New Delhi: Bharti Airtel today said its DTH arm Bharti Telemedia has received government's approval for transfer of its 15 per cent stake to private equity firm Warburg Pincus.
The said approval has been granted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Airtel said in a regulatory filing.
"...Bharti Telemedia Limited, a subsidiary of the company, has been granted the approval dated August 28, 2018, from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for transfer of its 15 per cent stake to an affiliate of Warburg Pincus," Bharti Airtel said.
Under the deal announced in December 2017, Bharti Airtel had said it plans to sell 20 per cent stake in its DTH arm Bharti Telemedia to an affiliate of Warburg Pincus for about USD 350 million.
Of the 20 per cent, Bharti Airtel would sell its 15 per cent stake in direct-to-home arm and the balance will be sold by another Bharti entity which holds 5 per cent stake in the company.
Sources aware of the approval explained that while the filing only pertained to offloading of 15 per cent stake by the listed entity Bharti Airtel, the entire deal has received a clearance including sale by separate Bharti entity.
The approval comes at a time when competition in the market has intensified -- Reliance Jio has already announced it will offer a set top box for TV when it launches ultra-high speed fibre-based broadband services.
Market watchers have said that Jio's aggressive offerings will pose a "serious competition" to TV distributors on both the Direct-to-home (DTH) and cable side, putting further pressure on falling average revenue per user.