India Approves Idea Stake Sale

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s cabinet on Thursday approved private equity Providence Equity Partners’ $640 million purchase of 20 percent in Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd (ABTL), a unit of fifth-largest mobile operator Idea Cellular (IDEA.BO).

ABTL owns telecom licences in the eastern states of Jharkhand and Bihar.

The cabinet also approved Idea’s plan to transfer to ABTL its 16 percent holding in tower company Indus Towers, a joint venture with top telecom operator Bharti Airtel (BRTI.BO) and third-ranked Vodafone Essar (VOD.L). (Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by John Mair)