BANGALORE, India — Vodafone has taken a 10 percent stake in India’s Bharti Tele-ventures Ltd., the holding company whose Airtel GSM-based services is one of the the largest GSM service provider in India.
The Vodafone Group Plc. paid about $1.50 billion for the equity, the single largest foreign investment ever in Indian corporate history.
"We are delighted that Vodafone has made a call on the Indian telecom sector and today, when Bharti stands on the threshold of being an Asian telecom powerhouse, it has tied up with Vodafone to take the company to the next level," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group managing director, Bharti Televentures Ltd.
"This transaction is consistent with Vodafone's strategy of developing our global footprint in growth markets, where we can create value for shareholders," said Arun Sarin, CEO, Vodafone Group Plc.
Bharti Tele-Ventures has over 14 million customers for its mobile services and also provides wireline and broadband services over DSL across India. Singapore Telecommunications, known as SingTel, holds a 30-percent equity stake in Bharti Televentures.