Bharti Group buys 4.99 percent stake from Vodafone
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Bharti Group buys 4.99 percent stake from Vodafone

Thursday, 19 July 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Global mobile phone major Vodafone has sold its 4.99 percent stake in Bharti Airtel to one of the companies in the stable of Sunil Bharti Mittal's group, it was announced Wednesday.

"Pursuant to the announcement made earlier in February 2007, Bharti is pleased to announce that one of its group companies has acquired a 4.99 percent direct interest in Bharti Airtel Ltd from Vodafone," a Bharti statement said.

"With this, Bharti has enhanced its voting interest in Bharti Airtel to over 50 percent," the statement added, without specifying which company had acquired the 4.99 percent stake, nor the value of the transaction.

In February Vodafone had said that it would sell its 5.6 percent equity in Airtel for $1.6 billion in two instalments before November 2008.

"The shareholding will be transferred in two tranches, the first before March 31, 2008 and the second by November 2008," Vodafone had said in May 2007 after announcing its annual results for the year ended March 31.

Vodafone is still left with a small stake in Bharti Airtel.

Earlier this month, Singapore government's investment arm Temasek Holdings acquired 4.99 percent stake in Bharti Airtel - India's largest private sector telecom services company - for $2 billion.

And earlier this year, Vodafone had acquired controlling stake in Bharti Airtel's rival and the third largest private telecom services group, Hutch Essar, for $11.3 billion.

Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications ranks second in market share.
Source: IANS
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