Bharti Airtel and Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, on Tuesday 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 $350 million.
In this deal 15 per cent stake will be sold by Bharti Airtel and the balance by another Bharti entity which holds 5 per cent stake, a company statement said here.
"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. Airtel TV is very well positioned in the DTH space, and we are committed to grow our share of the market through a combination of innovation, value engineering, customer service and distribution initiatives," said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.
Bharti Telemedia is one of the largest DTH paid TV service providers. It offers services under the Airtel TV brand. It had approximately 14 million subscribers and approximately $550 million in revenues during the 12-month period ended September 30, 2017.
Airtel TV, launched in 2008 is a profitable venture and has a distrbituion infrastructure of over 1,500 partners and over 158,000 recharge outlets in approximately 630 districts of India.
"The Indian Digital TV market is expanding rapidly and we believe that Airtel DTH is well positioned to capitalize on incremental growth in digitization and new TV penetration in Tier 3 and 4 towns and rural areas," said Vishal Mahadevia, Managing Director and Co-Head, Warburg Pincus India.
Upon closing of the transaction, Airtel will own an 80 per cent equity stake in Bharti Telemedia Limited.
The Airtel board has approved the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals. As part of the transaction, Viraj Sawhney, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus India, will join the board of Bharti Telemedia Limited.