Airtel sells 20% in DTH arm to Warburg Pincus for $350 m

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018
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Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel

Two group entities reduce stake in Bharti Telemedia in deal with American PE firm

Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus’ affiliate will acquire a 20 per cent stake in Bharti Telemedia Ltd, the direct-to-home (DTH) arm of Airtel.

The deal, valued at $350 million, will see Bharti Airtel selling a 15 per cent stake with the remaining 5 per cent sold by another Bharti entity, said a common announcement by Bharti Airtel and Warburg Pincus on Tuesday.

Warburg to get board seat

Upon closure of the transaction, Airtel will own an 80 per cent stake in Bharti Telemedia. As part of the transaction, Viraj Sawhney, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus India, will join the Board of Bharti Telemedia.

In the joint statement, Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said: “Airtel has enjoyed a very successful partnership with Warburg Pincus in the past and we are excited to partner with them once again in an attractive and fast growing space.”

“ We look forward to working with Warburg Pincus towards achieving our vision of making Airtel TV India’s leading DTH platform,” he added.

DTH paid TV service provider, Bharti Telemedia, which offers services under the Airtel TV brand, had around 14 million subscribers and approximately $550 million in revenues during the 12-month period that ended on September 30, 2017.

Airtel TV, which was launched in 2008, has over 1,500 partners and over 1,58,000 recharge outlets in around 630 districts.

Vishal Mahadevia, Managing Director and Co-Head, Warburg Pincus India,said: “The Indian Digital TV market is expanding rapidly and we believe that Airtel DTH is well positioned to capitalise on incremental growth in digitisation and new TV penetration in Tier 3 and 4 towns and rural areas.”

“We are pleased to be working alongside Sunil Bharti Mittal and the Bharti group again following our successful partnership many years ago, and we look forward to supporting the management team during the next phase of the company’s growth,” he added, in the statement.

Published on December 12, 2017

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