Reliance Seeks to Sell a Stake – No Takers For Globalcom I Guess?

June 8th, 2010 by · 4 Comments

According to reports, Indian telecommunications giant Reliance Communications has approved a plan to sell a minority stake in itself.  The rumored names include AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings), Dubai's Etisalat, and Africa's MTN Group, but apparently the only one on this list actually far along in talks is Etisalat which is said to be eyeing a 26% stake for something in the neighborhood of $4B.  Other strategic alternatives are apparently on the table as well.

Now ordinarily I'm not all that interested in the potential sale of a stake in one PTT to another.  But this one has some relevance to earlier news.  Remember over the winter when Reliance Globalcom was said to be for sale?  Globalcom was assembled from the Flag undersea cable assets, Yipes, and Vanco and the price tag was said to be some $3B, while the company denied it was even for sale.  Despite that denial, if a buyer had actually materialized at such a price, I'll bet they wouldn't be taking the steps they have today.

So what do they need the money for?  More and more wireless buildout expenses apparently.  They are spending $1.9B on more spectrum, and will be rolling out 3G and/or WiMAX as well.  

Who wins the stake?  Actually I'd put my money on Etisalat.  I figure MTN is probably sick of the whole idea by now, and it just doesn't feel like AT&T is going to want to spend that money prior to its LTE buildout.

Categories: ILECs, PTTs · Mergers and Acquisitions

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4 Comments So Far


  • Manish Khare says:

    Being based out of India, I would like to see things from a different perspective. AT&T has never tried to hide its intention to re-enter the retail segment of the exploding India Telecom Story specially after its un-tiemly exit from IDEA few years back. Reliance is the 2nd largest operator with some 108 million subs behind the market leader – AIRTEL. If AT&T has even little bit of cash over and above its planned expenditure for LTE, it would be a strategic move to be a part of the India Story. After all who can refuse to finance you for a market adding 10 million customers a month…………..

    The difficulty for ETISALAT would be the regulation in India which prevents you to hold more than 10% stake in two companies holding wireless licence in the same circle (It already has almost a PAN India licence from its earlier acqusition of SWAN Telecom). The fact that it is the only New Operator with almost zero roll-out may give some ideas to the people out there, to try and put the surplus cash they are sitting on, to some good use over Reliance’s 26% stake [a co. already EBIDTA positive].

  • Anon says:

    I cannot see why AT&T would want a minority stake in a mobile operator. Even in the US this is a bad idea (Verizon Wireless, anyone?) and it is even worse in emerging markets where so much of your future is at the whim of the government and regulator. Also, I can’t really understand the attraction of the Indian market in the future – remember, the ARPU of subscribers being added today is $1. This is not an attractive investment. And I am not entirely convinced of um, shall we say, the veracity of Reliance’s accounts.

  • Hello All,

    GCX = GlobalCloudExchange, this is what I came to know.
    They have a requirement for cloud engineer(Citrix products).

    So my concerns are what will the be profile ?

    Regards,
    An Curious Citrix engineer

  • Hello All,

    GCX = GlobalCloudExchange, this is what I came to know.
    They have a requirement for cloud engineer(Citrix products) and the reason being asking is as HR people still doesn’t knows the profile for this:

    So my concerns are what will the be profile ?

    Regards,
    An Curious Citrix engineer

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