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BSNL Eyes Overseas Acquisitions; Why Not MTNL First?

Public Sector telecom operator BSNL is eying overseas acqusitions in Africa and the Middle East reports PTI. BSNL CMD Kuldeep Goyal told reporters that the company is open to acqusitions, and we’re wondering why a meger hasn’t yet taken place between BSNL and MTNL.

It’s a strange situation with the public sector telecom operators – BSNL operates throughout the country, except in the high tele-density cities of Delhi and Mumbai, which is where MTNL operates. Neither is going to encroach on the others area of operation. Perhaps a part of the problem is the valuation – MTNL is listed on the Indian bourses while BSNL is not – and another is employee issues – MTNL employees may not be open to a takeover. Nevertheless, there has been talk of a BSNL-MTNL merger for many years now.

BSNL has also been eying an IPO – a move which was opposed by the employee unions – but the government may have also deferred the listing due to the turmoil in the global markets. BSNL was eying a $10 Billion IPO, the largest ever in India. Goyal has said that the BSNL board has approved the divestment of 10% stake, and it is now the governments decision. But don’t hold your breath – my guess is that the IPO won’t take place till the next elections are out of the way.

Related:

Pre-IPO, BSNL Gets Spectrum, Waivers; To Manufacture Handsets, Modems; Unions Stalling IPO
BSNL Gets Go-Ahead For $10 Bn IPO; $100 Bn Valuation?

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