is close to buying Sri Lankan fixed-line operator Suntel
and has sent a high-level delegation to start technical
assessment of the company, a prerequisite to formalising
the acquisition materialises, Suntel would become the
NYSE-listed MTNL''s first acquisition. It will also give
MTNL a foothold in Sri Lanka''s fast-growing telecom market.
It has a licence to offer fixed-line, cellular and ILD
services in Mauritius.
is believed to have emerged as the highest bidder for
Suntel with a bid between $160 and $180 million for the
stakes held by its major investors, notably Nordic company
Telia with a 55-per cent stake through its holding firm
other shareholders are Sri Lanka''s Metrocorp, National
Development Bank Of Sri Lanka, Townsend of Hong Kong and
International Finance Corporation.
which has been trying to grow business beyond Delhi and
Mumbai, had lost the race for Saudi Arabia''s third mobile
licence and fixed-line licence earlier this year. It had
also lost a bid for a licence in Kenya.
Colombo-based Suntel offers fixed-line service on CDMA-based
technology on the WLL platform.