afaqs! news bureau

CCI approves Airtel's acquisition of Warburg Pincus affiliate's stake in DTH division

Following this acquisition, Bharti Airtel's stake in Bharti Telemedia will rise from 80% to 100%.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given approval to Bharti Airtel's purchase of an additional 20% stake in its direct-to-home (DTH) subsidiary, Bharti Telemedia, from a Warburg Pincus affiliate based in New York, as mentioned in The Economic Times report.

One of the sources quoted in the report informed that CCI is anticipated to release a comprehensive public order regarding the transaction shortly. Although the transaction originated in 2021, in August 2023, the CCI imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on Airtel for finalising the deal without prior notification.

In October 2023, the telecommunications company requested approval from the competition watchdog for the transaction. This transaction also included Lion Meadow Investment, an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, acquiring a stake in Bharti Airtel. Recently, the CCI granted approval for the transaction.

In its application to the CCI, Airtel stated that the transaction is a consolidation of intra-group shareholding and does not signify any alteration in market dynamics, nor does it involve the entry, exit, or change in management of the business operations of BTL.

This marks the second significant deal finalised in the DTH sector, subsequent to Tata Sons' purchase of Singaporean investment firm Temasek's 10% stake in Tata Play for $100 million, valuing the company at $1 billion.

The acquisition of the stake, which will elevate Bharti Airtel's ownership in Bharti Telemedia to 100% from the previous 80%, valued the DTH firm at Rs 15,630 crore.

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