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Bharti Buys Out BT From Two Ventures

NEW DEHLI -- Indian telecom major Bharti Enterprises has announced acquisition of British Telecom's stakes in two of its joint venture companies, Bharti BT Internet Ltd and Bharti-BT Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

BT held 49 per cent equity stake in the Internet JV and 50 percent in Bharti-BT Ltd, which was a joint venture for VSAT services.

In a bid to restructure its business, after the exit of foreign partners from Bharti Telespatial and its subsidiaries, Bharti Enterprises has announced the merger of four companies into one corporate entity. The new company will be christened as Bharti Broadband Networks Ltd.

Bharti-BT VSAT Services, works under the brand name of Mantra Online. Bharti Broadband Services and their holding company Bharti Telespatial Ltd will be merged.

Bharti declared that acquisitions and mergers were part of the new strategic vision and framework for providing the consumer with high-quality integrated broadband network services. Recently, Intel Corporation has also sold its 15 per cent stake in Bharti Telespatiale.

Bharti Enterprises' chairman, Sunil Mittal said, "the strategic marketing and business rationale of the merger was truly overwhelming. We believe that this merger will create a single entity which will emerge as one of the strongest integrated broadband players in India." However, BT is yet to sell its 44 percent stake in its third joint venture -- Bharti Cellular Ltd.