There are new reports suggesting that India’s Bharti Airtel is set to buy a 70% of Bangladesh’s fourth-largest operator, Warid Telecom, for around $900 million.
Warid’s owner, the Dhabi Group, apparently sought approval from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission for the sale. Moreover, we’ve heard Bharti would initially invest around $300 million in the company with more to come in the future.
Bangladesh has proven an attractive market for foreign operators due its low mobile penetration of 31% and potential for growth. Egypt’s Orascom owns 100% of banglalink, Malaysia’s Axiata – 70% of Aktel, whilst Norway’s Telenor controls 62% of market leader – Grameenphone.
A move into Bangladesh would be certainly beneficial for India’s leading mobile operator which is in the midst of an intense price war with rivals Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar.
For the record, Warid has 2.7 million connections, which gives it a 5.3% share of Bangladesh’s mobile market.