India's BSNL, MTNL doing due diligence for Zain

A consortium of Indian telecom companies and a Malaysian investor signed an agreement on Tuesday to buy the stake

Tags: IndiaKuwaitMergers and acquisitionsZain - Kuwait
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India's BSNL, MTNL doing due diligence for Zain India's BSNL, MTNL reportedly looking over Kuwait telco's books. (Getty Images)
By  Rania El Gamal Published  September 12, 2009

India's Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam are undertaking due diligence to buy a stake in Zain, the Indian ambassador to Kuwait said in remarks published on Saturday.

Last week, the two state-run firms said they had not decided on whether to join a consortium that is buying a 46 percent stake in Kuwaiti telecom Zain.

"MTNL and BSNL are always looking for investment opportunities overseas to expand their operations. As for buying a stake in Zain group, the evaluation and due diligence is ongoing," ambassador Ajai Malhotra said, according to al-Qabas newspaper.

The Indian embassy could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

Family conglomerate Kharafi Group, a major shareholder in Zain, has said it would sell a 46 percent stake in Zain - comprising its estimated 20 percent holding plus that of other shareholders - in a deal that would be worth around $13.7 billion.

A consortium of Indian telecom companies and a Malaysian investor signed an agreement on Tuesday to buy the stake.

Kharafi Group's vice president Badr al-Kharafi said on Tuesday the consortium is led by India's Vavasi Group and includes regional telecom companies BSNL and MTNL, and Malaysian billionaire Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary. (Reuters)

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