British telecom company Vodafone today said it has exited from Bharti Airtel by selling its 4.2 per cent stake in the Indian telecom major to an arm of Bharti Group.
“Vodafone confirms that it has sold, through a wholly- owned subsidiary, its shareholding in Bharti Infotel Private Limited, representing an approximate 4.2 per cent interest in Bharti Airtel Ltd, to Bharti Enterprises (Holding) Private Limited for USD 200 m (million),” the company said in a statement.
Vodafone has to sell its entire stake in Bharti Airtel following new norms issued by government that bars a telecom operator from holding any kind of stake in competition under unified licences.
“The disposal follows the new unified licence regime in India published by the Department of Telecoms which prohibits the holding by a group of an interest in more than one licensee company in the same service area,” the statement said.
Vodafone had acquired stake in Bharti Airtel under previous licensing regime, Unified Access Service Licence (UASL), or 2G licences, under which telecom companies were permitted to hold up to 9.9 per cent stake in other firms.