We did expect this to happen – India’s Bharti Airtel has confirmed plans to buy a 70% stake in Bangladesh’s Warid Telecom, currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dhabi Group. As part of the agreement, Bharti will make a fresh investment of $300 million to expand Warid’s operations and will have management and board control of the company. This in turn will drive Warid’s value to $1 billion. Dhabi Group will continue as a strategic partner, retaining 30% of the operator.
Commenting on the announcement, Bharti Airtel’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. 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.”
And for the record, this is Bharti’s second operation outside of India — they’ve been operating a mobile network in Sri Lanka, since January 2009.