Etisalat pays USD900 million for 45% stake in Swan Telecom

24 Sep 2008

Indian news source The Economic Times is reporting that the UAE’s Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has acquired a 45% stake in Swan Telecom for USD900 million in a deal that values the cellco at USD2 billion; the purchase comes following speculation in recent months that Etisalat had been looking for investment opportunities in India, having been linked to operators including Unitech and Tata Teleservices. Swan successfully won GSM concessions for thirteen of India’s telecoms circles earlier this year, and Swan MD Shahid Balwa confirmed, ‘We will be launching telecom in the first quarter of 2009. We are in talks with existing operators and standalone operators for infrastructure sharing. We already have licences and spectrum in 13 telecom circles.’ It is understood that Etisalat may look to raise its stake in the venture to over 51% at a later stage; Indian regulations however limit foreign ownership to no more than a 74% stake.

India, Etisalat UAE