Aimed at expanding its business overseas, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) have joined hands to form a consortium along with two other companies to bid for acquiring Kuwait’s telecom major Zain Telecom that has operations in 24 countries.
“The negotiations for acquiring a controlling stake in Zain Telecom have already begun. We hope to get over 50 per cent in the Kuwait-based company,” BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Kuldeep Goyal told journalists at the inaugural day of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference here.
Union Communications and Information and Information Technology Minister A Raja, who was also present at the conference, said: “BSNL and MTNL are well within their rights to expand and go global. Once all the formalities for the deal are over and if it goes through, they will approach the Department of Telecom for necessary government clearances, including the Cabinet nod. And if the DoT needs any clarifications on the deal, it will seek from them.”
The four-company consortium that includes India’s Vavasi group and a Malaysian company would make multi-billion dollar bid to acquire Zain Telecom.
Mr. Goyal, however, did not comment on what would be the stake of individual consortium members.