BSNL pulls out of Zain talks

18 Nov 2009

According to a report by Reuters, citing Business Standard, Indian state-owned telecoms firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has withdrawn from talks to join a consortium looking to buy a 46% stake in Kuwaiti mobile group Zain. Talks with India’s Vavasi Group and Malaysia’s Al-Bukhary have reportedly fallen through over valuations and Vavasi is now looking for new partners to aid its bid. The consortium hopes to announce a new partner within the next two weeks. BSNL and another state-owned firm, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), had previously examined a proposal to join the consortium, although reports on 2 September 2009 suggested the telco would prefer to exclusively partner each other and not a private player. As reported by CommsUpdate on 9 November 2009, BSNL plans to enter into direct talks with Zain to acquire a controlling stake in the group if the Vavasi-led consortium fails in its bid to acquire a stake in the company.