RCOM rumoured to be talking with strategic investors

11 Dec 2008

India’s Economic Times is reporting that the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) is in talks with strategic investors, including telecom groups from the US and Europe, regarding a possible sale of a 20%-26% stake in Indian cellco Reliance Communications (RCOM). Citing a banking source the report claims that any sale of a stake in RCOM, India’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, would be in a two-phase transaction. The first phase would see the investor acquiring shares in the company from the secondary market, and subsequently being issued fresh shares through preferential allotment at the secondary stage. RCOM is currently expanding its GSM network nationwide, and is expected to bid for 3G licences in the upcoming auctions at the beginning of 2009. As India’s largest CDMA provider, and with in excess of 56 million subscribers at the end of September 2008, the operator is expected to be valued at between USD18 billion and USD20 billion. RCOM is the one of the last major cellcos without a foreign partner, after Tata Teleservices sold a 26% stake to Japan’s NTT DoCoMo in November 2008.

India, Reliance Communications (RCOM),

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