Bharti Airtel to buy 70% in Warid Telecom, to invest $300 million

The purchase will make Bharti the newest foreign company to make inroads into the fast-growing Bangladeshi mobile market

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's number one cellular operator on Tuesday received the nod from Bangladesh's telecom regulator to purchase 70% stake in Warid Telecom and to invest $300 million in the company.

"The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has approved Airtel's proposed $300 million investment to buy Abu Dhabi group's 70% stake in Warid Telecom," BTRC chairman Zia Ahmed said. A Bharti Airtel spokesperson said that the company will keep pursuing international opportunities.

This deal will enable Bharti Airtel to enter the lucrative neighbourhood market. The nod comes after six months of pursuit since the Abu Dhabi group put its stake on sale.

Mr Ahmed said that Airtel would take over 70% stake in Warid by creating new shares possibly at a nominal price.

"The BTRC has given the go-ahead to transfer Abu Dhabi group's shares in Warid Telecom to Bharti Airtel," Mr Ahmed said.

The purchase will make Bharti the newest foreign company to make inroads into the fast-growing Bangladeshi mobile market. Launched in 2007, Warid has nearly three million subscribers in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has till October 2009, 52 million mobile subscribers, a number expected to rise to 100 million by 2015.

Airtel is the fourth foreign company to enter the Bangladesh market. Egyptian mobile operator Orascom has taken over Sheba while Singapore's State-owned Singtel has bought 45% stake in Bangladesh Telecom.

Airtel's move into Bangladesh's market comes after its plan to buy a stake in South Africa's MTN collapsed in September last year as Pretoria said that such a merger could lead to MTN losing its national character.

Warid is the sixth-largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh and has so far invested $600 million in its business.

Zia Ahmed said "We hope Airtel's investments would cross $1 billion in the next few years."
 

  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User 

    We are listening!

    Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
      Loading...
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email

    BUY NOW

    online financial advisory
    Pathbreakers
    Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
    online financia advisory
    The Scam
    28 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
    Moneylife Online Magazine
    Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
    financial magazines online
    Stockletters in 4 Flavours
    Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
    financial magazines in india
    MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
    (Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)