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Airtel gets FDI clearance to offload 20% stake in DTH unit to Warburg Pincus

Bharti Airtel will sell its 15% stake in direct-to-home arm, and the balance will be sold by another Bharti entity, which holds 5% stake in the company

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel has received FDI clearance from the government for sale of 20% stake in its DTH arm Bharti Telemedia to Warburg Pincus for $350 million, a source said.

The source privy to the development said that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) approval has been received for the deal, which was announced in December 2017.

When contacted, a Bharti Airtel spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

According to the contours of the deal announced in late 2017, Bharti Airtel will sell its 15% stake in direct-to-home arm, and the balance will be sold by another Bharti entity, which holds 5% stake in the company.

The approval comes at a time when competition in the market is heating up -- Reliance Jio has already announced it will offer a Set Top Box for TV when it launches ultra-high speed fibre-based broadband services. Market watchers have said that Jio’s aggressive offerings will pose a “serious competition" to TV distributors on both the DTH and cable side, putting further pressure on falling average revenue per user.

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