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Warburg Pincus offloads 3.35 pc in Bharti Tele for Rs 960 crore

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Aug. 13

PRIVATE equity fund Warburg Pincus has offloaded a 3.35 per cent equity stake in Bharti Tele-Ventures for about $200 million (around Rs 960 crore) to bring down its holding in the telecom company to 15.17 per cent.

The company had invested close to $300 million four years ago to pick up an 18 per cent stake in Bharti.

A statement issued by the company to the Bombay Stock Exchange, said: "We have been informed with respect to sale of 6.20 crore equity shares of Bharti Televentures constituting 3.35 per cent of the total paid-up capital of the company by Brentwood Investment Holdings Ltd."

Brentwood Investment Holdings is an investment arm of Warburg Pincus.

Bharti is also in the process of floating an American Depository Receipt (ADR) to raise about $700 million.

Warburg Pincus is expected to bring down its equity in the company by another 10 per cent through the ADR.

According to industry sources, the shares held by Warburg Pincus were sold at Rs 155 per share.

Perhaps reflecting the deal, Bharti's share price on the bourses went down to Rs 150 per share at close from Rs 158.

Post sale, Warburg Pincus now holds 28,12,15,268 equity shares of Bharti Tele-Ventures, equivalent to 15.17 per cent of the total paid-up capital, a Bharti statement said. Indian promoters hold about 46 per cent stake while Temasek Holdings company SingTel, the largest foreign equity partner in Bharti, has another 28 per cent.

Bharti has also been pushing for an increase in the foreign direct investment (FDI) cap from the current level of 49 per cent to 74 per cent.

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