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Updated: February 17, 2010 18:22 IST

Bharti - Zain deal: Govt offers help

PTI
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Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
The Hindu Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

The government on Wednesday offered all help possible to enable private telecom player Bharti Airtel see through the acquisition of Kuwait-based Zain’s telecom operations in Africa.

“The Bharti management has not approached us yet. If they do, I will be very happy to help them because when they go out, it’s not the company alone but they are our flag-bearers.

We will do the utmost of what we can,” Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

The Indian telecom operator had entered into exclusive talks with Zain for acquiring its African operations based on an enterprise value of USD 10.7 billion.

“We will be happy to pitch in to compete with the best in the world,” Khurshid said.

Asked about the regulatory roadblocks that the company may face, Khurshid said: “Nothing has been brought to our notice yet. As in the past (referring to Bharti’s failed bid for South Africa’s MTN), there was obviously policy issues.

As far as the present information (regarding Zain) is concerned, nothing has come to us. But if anything comes to us, as I said, we will do whatever, we can.”

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