Bharti Airtel stock rises after 20% stake sale in its DTH arm to Warburg Pincus

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The Bharti Airtel stock was the top Sensex gainer in early trade rising nearly 2 percent in an otherwise flat market. India’s largest telco on Tuesday said an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus will acquire up to a 20 per cent stake in its DTH arm Bharti Telemedia for about $350 million (around Rs 2,310 crore). Out of the 20 per cent, Bharti Airtel will 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. At 10:42 am, the stock was up 0.52 percent at Rs 526.64 on the BSE. The stock is up 73 percent since the beginning of this year. On an yearly basis, it has gained 60 percent. The stock hit an intra day high of 533 level in early morning trade.  The firm was the top volume gainer with Rs 221 crore turnover on the BSE. “Bharti Airtel…and Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, today announced that an affiliate of Warburg Pincus will acquire up to a 20 per cent equity stake in Bharti Telemedia Limited, the DTH arm of Airtel, for approximately USD 350 million,” both the companies said in a joint statement. Upon closing of the transaction, Airtel will own 80 per cent equity stake in Bharti Telemedia Limited. Bharti Telemedia had approximately 14 million subscribers and approximately USD 550 million in revenues during the 12-month period ended September 30, 2017. The company claims to have strong distribution infrastructure, with over 1,500 partners and over 1,58,000 recharge outlets in approximately 630 districts of the country. The Airtel board has approved the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, the statement said. As part of the transaction, Viraj Sawhney, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus India, will join the board of Bharti Telemedia Limited, it added.

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