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Airtel gets approval to offload 15% stake in DTH arm to Warburg Pincus

Bharti Airtel’s DTH arm Bharti Telemedia has received an approval from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to transfer its 15% stake to private equity firm Warburg Pincus, the company said in a regulatory filing. This is in accordance with the deal announced in December last year, under which Bharti Airtel would sell a 15% stake in Bharti Telemedia, while another 5% would be sold by another Bharti entity. While Airtel didn’t disclose any details on the aforementioned 5%, media reports claimed that the entire deal has received an approval from the concerned authorities. MediaNama has reached out to Airtel for a clarification and will update this when we hear from them. It is important to note here that DTH was among Airtel’s very few profitable businesses during the quarter ending June 30, 2018 (Q1 FY19). It had a subscriber base of 14.65 million users at the end of the quarter, which represents a growth of 10.0%, as compared to the corresponding quarter last year, the company said in its quarterly results. Airtel’s DTH business had presence in 639 districts across the country. DTH market set to be disrupted? Most market analysts are wary of Airtel’s success in the DTH business going forward, as they expect Reliance’s JioGigaFiber to disrupt the home broadband and DTH markets just like Jio disrupted the telecom industry in 2016. Jio will offer a set top box for TV when it launches ultra high speed fibre broadband services. While Jio has not yet announced any…

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