Bharti Airtel cleared to sell stake in broadcast arm - Mobile World Live

Bharti Airtel cleared to sell stake in broadcast arm

29 AUG 2018

Bharti Airtel received a green light to sell 15 per cent of broadcast subsidiary Bharti Telemedia to an investment company as part of a $350 million deal, with the funds reportedly earmarked for debt reduction.

In a stock exchange statement the operator confirmed the sale to Warburg Pincus affiliate Lion Meadow Investment had been approved by regulator the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, having been first announced in December 2017.

The original notification said an additional 5 per cent of Bharti Telemedia would be bought by Lion Meadow Investment from an unnamed Bharti affiliate, however this part of the transaction was omitted from yesterday’s (28 August) statement. The value of the total transaction was $350 million.

When the deal was first announced several media outlets, including the Hindustan Times, reported the operator would use the cash to reduce debt as the pressure on its core businesses from Reliance Jio continued to increase.

After shaking the wireless market with its aggressive pricing strategy, Reliance Jio is now targeting the FTTH sector. The challenger brand is in the process of collecting registrations from customers interested in the gigabit fibre service, ahead of defining which areas to connect first.

Although the exact details of its fibre offer have yet to be confirmed, Reliance Jio is advertising TV services as one of the key benefits of its new fixed offering. Bundling fixed with TV would see it compete directly with Bharti Airtel in another of its core offerings.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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