BSNL ponders option of stake sale to foreign investor

6 Jul 2009

According to India’s Business Standard, state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is considering the option of a stake sale to a private foreign company, rather than continue with its long-mooted plans for an IPO. It is understood that the move is being examined following resistance to IPO plans from employee unions. Commenting on the development, Kuldeep Goyal, BSNL chairman and managing director, said: ‘Foreign partners definitely bring in some expertise that will help the company improve its performance. All of us at BSNL want to fight the competition pro-actively, for which some measures will have to be taken.’ While the operator’s board cleared plans to divest a 10% holding through an IPO last year, BSNL has not indicated what level of shareholding it might offer a foreign investor. The new proposals will once again be discussed with the employee union, which is expected to issue a statement on the matter sometime after 9 July.

India, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)