Bharti Airtel expands
New Delhi, Bharti Airtel Limited, announced that it has agreed to
acquire 70% stake in Warid Telecom, Bangladesh, currently a wholly owned
subsidiary of the Dhabi Group. Warid Telecom offers mobile services
across all the 64 districts of Bangladesh and has a total customer base
of over 2.9 million.
Under the agreement, Bharti Airtel will make a fresh investment of
USD 300 million to rapidly expand the operations of Warid Telecom and
will have management and board control of the company.
This is the largest investment in Bangladesh by an Indian company.
Dhabi Group will continue as a strategic partner, retaining 30%
shareholding and have their nominees on the Board of the Company.
The acquisition by Bharti Airtel would be partly by purchase of
existing shares held in Warid Telecom International Limited by Dhabi
Group for a nominal consideration and balance by way of issue of fresh
shares at par.
The new funding will be utilised for expansion of the network, both
for coverage and capacity, and introduction of innovative products and
As a result of this additional investment, the overall investment in
the company will be in the region of USD 1 billion.
Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal,
said “This landmark deal underlines our intent to further expand our
operations to international markets where we can implant our unique
business model and offer quality and affordable telecom services. At the
same time, it is a symbol of the growing economic cooperation between
the South Asian countries and we would like to thank the Government of
India and Bangladesh for their support and encouragement.”
This will be Bharti Airtel’s second operation outside of India.
The company launched its mobile services in January 2009 on a
state-of-the-art 3.5G network.
The company crossed the 1 million customers mark within six months of
launch on the back of innovative offerings as well as rapid expansion of
network coverage and distribution.