New Delhi: Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said its DTH arm Bharti Telemedia has received the government’s approval for transfer of its 15% stake to private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

“Bharti Telemedia Ltd, a subsidiary of the company, has been granted the approval dated 28 August 2018 from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for transfer of its 15% stake to an affiliate of Warburg Pincus," Bharti Airtel said in a regulatory filing.

Under the deal announced in December 2017, Bharti Airtel had said it planned to sell 20% stake in its DTH arm Bharti Telemedia to an affiliate of Warburg Pincus for around $350 million. Of the 20%, Bharti Airtel would sell its 15% stake in direct-to-home arm and the balance will be sold by another Bharti entity, which holds 5% in the company.

While the filing only pertained to offloading of 15% stake by the listed entity Bharti Airtel, the entire deal received a clearance, including sale by the separate Bharti entity, said sources in the know of the development.

The approval comes at a time when competition in the market has intensified — Reliance Jio has already announced it will offer a set top box for the television when it launches ultra-high speed fibre-based broadband services. According to market watchers, Jio’s aggressive offerings will pose a “serious competition" to TV distributors on both the direct-to-home (DTH) and cable side, putting further pressure on already declining average revenue per user.

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