New Delhi: Temasek Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd has been granted an option to acquire a beneficial stake of 4.99% in Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest mobile telephony company. The option has been granted by an associate company of Bharti Enterprises Ltd to a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. A spokesperson for Bharti Airtel said Temasek would be a financial investor in the company.
The value of the deal, and the names of the companies that granted and acquired the option, are not known. Bharti Airtel’s shares closed at Rs867 on the Bombay Stock Exchange earlier on Tuesday (the deal was announced after the market closed), and at this price, a 4.99% stake works out to Rs8,198 crore. However, since the stake is indirect or beneficial (acquired through a company which in turn has a stake in Bharti Airtel), the exact value of the deal cannot be calculated. The date till which the option can be exercised isn’t known.
In its release announcing the deal, Bharti Enterprises said it “continues to maintain a controlling interest of over 45% in Bharti Airtel” through its subsidiary Bharti Telecom Ltd.
The UK’s Vodafone Group Plc., which has a 9.99% stake in Bharti Airtel, will transfer a 5.6% stake back to the Indian company in tranches by November 2008.