Dec 27, 2006

Hutchison on Hutch-Essar: Talk only over $14bn

As top bosses of Vodafone and Essar arrived here to negotiate a deal for acquiring Hutchison Telecom's Indian business, its parent company has indicated it will not consider any offer below $14 billion.
While Ravi Ruia, vice-chairman of Essar, the Indian partner in the JV Hutch-Essar, is here along with his advisor JM Morgan Stanley and investment bankers, British telecom major Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin too is in town for talks with Hutchison Telecom International, informed sources said.
Meanwhile, British newspaper Financial Times reported that Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of HTIL, will only entertain offers "well in excess of $14 billion".
According to the report, Frank Sixt, Hutchison Whampoa's finance director, dismissed an indicative offer of $13.5 billion made this month by Texas Pacific Group, a private equity firm, and Maxis, a Malaysian mobile operator.
Vodafone was the first player to make public its intention to buyout HTIL's 67% stake in Hutch-Essar, in which Essar being the partner has the first right of refusal.

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