Hindujas start due diligence on Hutch-Essar, tie up with largest Spanish Bank

Mumbai: The Hinduja group today commenced its due diligence on mobile telecom services operator Hutch-Essar. The group has retained Banco Santander, Spain''s leading bank for financing the multi-billion dollar deal.

According to Ashok Hinduja, executive chairman, Hinduja TMT, the due diligence had started. He said since it was a very big deal it would be premature to say how long it would take.

He, however, refused to disclose the composition of its professional team that would scrutinise Hutch-Essar`s books, saying there was a non-disclosure agreement with the partners.

The company has put together a team of 30 professionals of legal, accounting and financial advisers.

The group is believed to have retained the services of Fox & Mandal, among the country`s oldest and largest full service legal firms as legal adviser to and US-based consulting firm Deloitte and Touche as adviser to the deal.

Banco Santander is Spain`s most important private bank with a network of branches, and equity holdings in other banks and acquisitions beyond Spain to Portugal and the UK.