Posts tagged 'Reliance communications'

Ambani peace accord − here’s the document

Mukesh and Anil, India’s billionaire Ambani brothers, have been at each other’s throats for years. They spilt the family business in 2005 and have feuded ever since.

Now, quite suddenly, Mukesh has agreed to use his younger brother’s fibre optic network for the launch of a new broadband telecoms venture. The initial contract is worth 1,200 crore rupees, which translates into about $220m. Read more

India questions second tycoon

Indian anti-corruption officials have questioned a second tycoon in as many days, as a probe into a multibillion-dollar telecoms scandal reached into the highest echelons of the business elite, reports the FT. Prashant Ruia, the billionaire chief executive of energy and shipping conglomerate Essar Group, was questioned by investigators on Thursday amid a widening probe into the allocation of mobile network licences in 2008, a person close to the company said. On Thursday, shares in Reliance Communications continued their slide on reports that Anil Ambani, its billionaire chairman, had also been questioned.

India corruption scandal spreads

Indian anti-corruption officials have questioned a second tycoon in as many days, as a probe into a multibillion-dollar telecoms scandal reached into the highest echelons of the business elite, reports the FT. Prashant Ruia, the billionaire chief executive of energy and shipping conglomerate Essar Group, was questioned by investigators on Thursday amid a widening probe into the allocation of mobile network licences in 2008, a person close to the company said. On Thursday, shares in Reliance Communications continued their slide on reports that Anil Ambani, its billionaire chairman, had also been questioned.

Ambani questioned in Indian probe

Shares in India’s Reliance Communications dropped another 3% to Rp96.75 in Mumbai trading on Thursday after billionaire chairman Anil Ambani was questioned by Indian federal investigators in a widening probe into the awarding of mobile-phone licenses in 2008, reports Bloomberg. The FT earlier reported that Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh had agreed to face a parliamentary investigation into a spiralling corruption scandal that has paralysed the world’s largest democracy. Singh said on Wednesday he was prepared to answer questions from legislators about alleged irregularities in the award of 2G telecoms licences. An official audit, claiming the scandal cost the government $39bn, has rocked a fast-growing sector that attracted investments from some of India’s top business magnates.

The west’s Chindian nightmare unfolds

Chindia seems to be the theme of the week in Asia.

But apart from spurring a bilateral Sino-Indian deal frenzy, the arrival of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in India on Wednesday seemed also to have stirred confusion and some very odd recriminations. Read more

China woos India, Ambani gains loans

Two Indian companies controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani gained $3.04 bn in financing commitments from a consortium led by Chinese banks, helping one of them ease immediate debt pressures and the other to secure funds for a power project, reports the WSJ. Reliance Communications on Wednesday said it signed a $1.93bn syndicated loan arrangement with China Development Bank and other institutions to mainly refinance short-term debt it took on to build its 3G telephone network. The FT reported that the deal came as China’s premier Wen Jiabao arrived in New Delhi for a state visit. In a separate report, the FT says the Reliance deal is the latest in a series of loan agreements between Indian industrialists and Chinese banks, which offer cheaper credit than Indian institutions.

China loan for Reliance Communications

Reliance Communications, India’s debt-stricken mobile phone operator, announced it would receive a $1.93bn loan from China Development Bank on the day China’s premier Wen Jiabao arrived in New Delhi for a state visit to boost ties between the two emerging economic powers, reports the FT. The new loan, signed on the sidelines of an India-China summit on Wednesday, will help India’s second-largest mobile operator by subscribers repay the outstanding loans it took out to acquire 3G spectrum earlier this year. The company is controlled by Anil Ambani, one of India’s richest men. This is the latest in a series of multibillion-dollar loan agreements clinched with Beijing by Indian billionaire industrialists, as Chinese banks offer much cheaper credit than Indian institutions.

Reliance $9bn deal collapses

A landmark deal designed to help Reliance Communications, India’s second-largest mobile operator, reduce debt and draw suitors has collapsed amid speculation about a dispute over price, reports the FT. The $9bn deal, under which Reliance Communications was to sell its tower assets to Indian group, GTL Infrastructure, was aimed at preparing industrialist Anil Ambani’s flagship company for a possible stake sale to Gulf rival Etisalat. The WSJ quotes one analyst suggesting GTL was unable to raise the debt needed to fund the deal.

Reliance $9bn tower assets deal collapses

A landmark deal designed to help Reliance Communications, India’s second-largest mobile operator, reduce debt and make it more attractive to suitors has collapsed amid speculation about a dispute over price, the FT reports. The $9bn deal, under which Reliance Communications was to sell its tower assets to Indian group, GTL Infrastructure, was aimed at preparing billionaire industrialist Anil Ambani’s flagship company for a possible stake sale to Gulf rival Etisalat.

GTL soothes fears over Reliance merger

GTL Infrastructure, the Indian mobile tower group, has sought to reassure telecoms operators it remains independent in spite of announcing a proposed $11bn merger last week with the cell mast unit of Reliance Communications, the FT reported. Manoj Tirodkar, chairman of GTL, said the planned deal with Reliance Infratel would not prevent him looking for transactions with rival operators.

AT&T in talks with India’s Reliance

AT&T and the Indian wireless carrier Reliance have begun early and informal talks over the US telecoms giant’s possible move to take a minority stake, people familiar with the matter have told the WSJ. The sources said that no deal is close, but added that the companies have been in touch over recent weeks. Reliance has been courting foreign suitors on the back of an expected mobile telecoms revolution in India.

Etisalat eyes Reliance Comms stake

Emirates Telecommunications of the UAE is in talks with Reliance Communications about taking a 26%  stake in India’s second-largest mobile company by subscribers. The deal would value the stake at about $4bn but the Gulf company, also known as Etisalat, is among several to have approached Reliance, the FT reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Bharti criticises ‘inflated’ India 3G prices

The UK’s Vodafone and Indian rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications paid between $1.8bn and $2.6bn each for third generation mobile phone spectrum in India, in an auction that will raise concerns about the financial sustainability of the sector, the FT said. The soaring cost of the auction, which fetched prices well beyond analysts’ estimates, raised Rs677.2bn ($14.5bn) in total for the government.

Anil Ambani goes hostile

Anil Ambani, the billionaire owner of India’s Reliance ADAG, has sparked a bidding war for Fame India, a film distributor in a country where hostile takeovers are rare.

Reliance MediaWorks has offered to buy 62 per cent of Fame, which had previously agreed to sell itself to local multiplex cinema operator Inox Leisure. In fact Inox now owns just over 50 per cent of Fame. Read more

India acts against Barclays

India’s stock market regulator on Thursday night suspended Barclays Bank of the UK from dealing in notes that enable offshore investors to trade Indian stocks, for allegedly providing inaccurate disclosures on the true identity of its clients. The regulator alleged that Barclays had given it false information on clients that had bought shares of mobile operator Reliance Communications, controlled by Indian billionaire Anil Ambani, through offshore derivatives, known as participatory notes.

Reliance accounts are questioned by Indian audit

The accounts of Reliance Communications, one of India’s biggest companies, have been questioned by a government-commissioned audit that alleges the group under-reported its revenue to the government and paid too little in licence and spectrum fees. In a report seen by the FT, the auditor, Parakh and Co, said: “there has been under- reporting of revenue for the purpose of payment of revenue share, and underpayment of licence fee and spectrum fees”.

MTN could quit Reliance talks

South Africa’s MTN is considering walking away from a tie-up with Reliance Communications of India because of fears an acrimonious spat between the Indian telecom operator’s owner and his brother could leave the deal open to legal action. A person familiar with the talks on Sunday said he expected MTN and Reliance to extend their exclusive talks for another two to three weeks after a 45-day period expires on Tuesday. However, there is no indication that extra time alone would be sufficient to resolve the feud.

Ambani eyes majority MTN stake

A consortium led by Indian billionaire Anil Ambani is considering taking a majority stake in South African mobile operator MTN to help stave off a potential legal challenge from his elder brother, Mukesh Ambani, to the deal under discussion. The new structure represents a sharp departure from the original proposal for the tie-up between MTN and Ambani’s Reliance Communications, India’s second largest mobile operator. Under the proposed new structure, a special purpose vehicle controlled by Anil Ambani with co-investment from global private equity and Middle East sovereign wealth funds would own 51% of MTN. The change means the period of exclusivity covering Ambani’s talks with MTN is likely to be extended two to three weeks from the 45-day period, due to end next Tuesday.

Ambani now wants 40% of MTN

Anil Ambani, chairman of India’s Reliance Communications, is considering buying more than 40% of MTN, Africa’s biggest wireless company. Until now it was thought Ambani would limit himself to a 34.9% stake – the limit beyond which he would be obliged under South African laws to offer to buy out MTN’s other shareholders. But Ambani could seek to maximise an in-effect controlling position in MTN by trying to persuade MTN’s shareholders to waive their right to a tender offer. If the shareholders agreed, Ambani may end up owning 40-45% of MTN. Lex, meanwhile, looks at the spat between the Ambani brothers and its implications for the MTN deal.

Ambani brothers clash over Reliance sale

Escalating sibling rivalry between India’s billionaire Ambani brothers over the proposed takeover of mobile operator Reliance Communications by South Africa’s MTN could end up in the courts. Mukesh Ambani, through his group Reliance Industries, last week threatened to block the planned deal by claiming a right of first refusal over Reliance Communications, the flagship of his younger sibling Anil Ambani. He has also threatened to sue MTN and Reliance, India’s second largest cellular carrier, for damages if the deal goes ahead. Anil Ambani’s group on Sunday responded with legal threats of its own. Both MTN and Reliance Communications say their talks are continuing as planned. Read the letter from Reliance Industries to MTN here.

Ambani aims to keep Reliance stake

Anil Ambani, the Indian businessman, hopes to remain a major shareholder in both Reliance Communications, his mobile phone operator, and South Africa’s MTN after the pair combine in a reverse takeover, reports the FT. Under the proposals, Ambani would swap about two-thirds of his 66% stake in Reliance for shares in MTN and retain a stake of 20-25% in the Indian cellular carrier. He would pay an extra $4bn-$5bn cash to bring his MTN stake to 34.9%. If MTN accepts Ambani’s proposal, it would end up with about 51% of Reliance. Meanwhile, reports Bloomberg, Ambani has hired Deutsche Bank’s former head of Indian equities, Keshav Sanghi, to start an institutional brokerage – Reliance Equity International.

Vodadeals

How’s this for a piece of multi-billion dollar corporate multi-tasking.

Having just announced the out-of-the-blue departure of its chief executive, Arun Sarin, Vodafone is seemingly closing in on two deals – one stirring a battle for control of fast-developing emerging telecoms markets, the other bolstering its position in Europe. Read more

Ambani seeks control of MTN

A possible merger of Reliance Communications of India and South Africa’s MTN could see Anil Ambani become the enlarged group’s chairman and biggest shareholder with a stake of almost 35% in what would be one of the world’s largest telcos. Ambani, chairman of Reliance, is pushing for a controlling position in the merged entity, although the deal could be structured as a reverse takeover by MTN. Reliance, India’s second largest mobile phone operator, has been in exclusive talks since Monday with MTN, Africa’s largest wireless company, about the possibility of Ambani swapping most or all of his 66% stake in Reliance for MTN shares, at a premium that values MTN’s equity at more than R175 ($23) a share. Read details of the offer at FT Alphaville, and a separate FT analysis of the potential tie-up.