Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Vodafone also in the race for Hutch

After Reliance, Maxis, Bharti and Essar itself, the Hutch-Essar JV seems to have found a new suitor. It seems that Vodafone, the British telecom giant, is reported to bid for Hutch-Essar. UBS, which is Vodafone’s house banker, is said to be advising the company on financing and acquisition strategies.

Both Vodafone and UBS have refused to comment on the development.

Vodafone is selling its stake in its holdings across market as it faces severe investor backlash. It sold its 25% stake in Swisscom for about $3.5 billion and a similar stake in a Belgian wireless operator to Belgacom; before that it had exited companies in both Sweden and Japan. The Japanese transaction was valued at about $16 billion.

In India, Vodafone has invested in a 10% stake in Bharti Airtel, the value of which now is estimated to be around Rs. 16, 000 crores. Vodafone might consider selling its stake in Bharti for financing the acquisition.

Read the article from The Economic Times.

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