Reliance, Maxis and Orascom want a piece of Hutch Essar, papers say

15 Dec 2006

India’s Reliance Communications, Malaysia’s Maxis Communications and Egypt’s Orascom Telecom have all tabled bids to acquire Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd’s (HTIL) 67% stake in Indian mobile operator Hutchison Essar, according to Press Trust of India (PTI), citing bankers familiar with the deal. India’s largest private telco, Bharti Airtel, has insisted that it is not amongst those interested in acquiring the cellco. Last week HTIL declined to comment on media reports that a number of private equity firms are looking to acquire its stake in Hutchison Essar in a deal that could be worth more than USD8 billion.

Meanwhile, with the takeover speculation ongoing, Hutchison Essar has sealed a deal with Japan’s NTT DoCOMo to offer its patented i-mode mobile internet service in India in 2007.

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