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Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002

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Bharti picks up Telia stake for $60 m

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NEW DELHI, March 19

BHARTI Tele-Ventures Ltd (BTVL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Telia to buy its 26 per cent stake in Bharti Mobile Ltd, a subsidiary company, which offers cellular services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.

According to an official statement from the company, the stake is being acquired for approximately $ 60 million.

With this acquisition, BTVL has complete ownership in all its operating companies (mobile, fixed line, long distance and broadband) with the exception of a 4.7 per cent stake owned by DSS Enterprises in Bharti Mobinet. The statement however notes that this acquisition is subject to regulatory and other clearances.

Meanwhile, Bharti Broadband Networks Ltd (BBNL) has announced the launch of SkyMantra, a third generation, always-on, broadband Internet services via satellite, in collaboration with Gilat of Israel.

The service is targeted at enterprises with multiple remote offices, depots, point of sale, educational institutions, e-commerce setups, SOHO and SMEs and organsiations requiring fast Internet access.

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