Bharti delivers Warburg more than 6x money

Warburg Pincus is to make a full exit from its highly lucrative investment in Bharti Tele-Ventures, the Indian telecommunications company.

Warburg Pincus has agreed to sell its remaining 5.6 percent stake in India’s Bharti Tele-Ventures to the UK’s Vodafone Group for a reported $842 million (€701 million).

Vodafone is paying $1.5 billion in total for a ten percent stake in the business, having also agreed to buy a 4.4 percent interest from Bharti Enterprises, a holding company of the founding New Delhi-based Mittal family.

According to a spokesperson,

We are proud to have been part of one of the most compelling growth stories in India’s history

Chip Kaye, co-president, Warburg Pincus

Warburg Pincus invested around $300 million in Bharti Tele-Ventures in 1999 and, through a series of partial exits since then, has realised about $1.9 billion from the sale of shares.

When the private equity firm first invested, the business had 100,000 mobile customers: it now has 14.1 million, giving it a 21.8 percent market share in India.

“We are proud to have been part of one of the most compelling growth stories in India’s history,” said Warburg Pincus co-president Chip Kaye in a statement. “Having invested in Bharti in 1999 and working closely along the way with a world-class management team…it is gratifying to see the company take this step toward its next phase of growth.”

Based in New York, Warburg Pincus has offices in Menlo Park, London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai. In August of this year, the firm closed a new $8 billion global fund. It says it has invested around $1.1 billion in total in India.