Vodafone offloads Bharti stake for USD200m

29 May 2015

UK-based Vodafone Group has sold its 4.2% stake in Bharti Airtel to Bharti Enterprises for USD200 million to meet regulatory requirements, the Economic Times reports. The sale was required as part of the Unified Licence regime, which prevents operators from holding an interest in a rival provider in the same service area. Vodafone’s stake in the Indian cellco was held via Bharti Infotel, the British group having purchased a 10% stake in the operator in 2005 before selling the lion’s share of its holding following its acquisition of mobile provider Hutchison-Essar in 2007. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodafone India is the closest rival to cellular market leader Bharti Airtel, claiming 19.0% of the nation’s wireless customers at the end of March 2015 compared to Airtel’s 23.3%.

India, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Group, Vodafone India