Reliance Industries Limited said to be weighing up bid for BT Group

29 Nov 2021

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is reportedly considering an offer for BT Group, according to India’s Economic Times, which cites sources familiar with the matter. With it suggested that RIL may look to make an unsolicited offer to buy into the operator, or possibly even look to acquire a controlling share in the British operator. Another possible option, meanwhile, is that it may propose a partnership with BT’s network unit, Openreach, which would fund the latter’s plans to expand its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure. Nonetheless, the unnamed sources cited by the report cautioned that these remain early-stage deliberations which may come to nothing, while it was unclear whether RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani had met with BT’s top executives regarding the matter.

For its part, BT declined to comment on what it described as speculation, though when asked specifically if it was open to inducting a strategic or financial partner for Openreach, a company spokesperson told the Economic Times: ‘Openreach remains a core, long-term, strategic asset for BT and is performing very well. Whilst we are always open to value creating options for BT, we are currently focused on building FTTP at pace, scale and at a low cost.’

India, BT Group (incl. Openreach)