Altimo for Hutch bid

The Hinduja group roped in Russian telecom major Altimo and Qatar Telecom (Q-tel) as partners to bid for acquiring Hutchison''s 67 per cent stake in GSM operator Hutch-Essar. Hindujas are one of the four bidders to have put in their price bids yesterday for the Hutchison stake. The others are Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group, Vodafone and the Ruias, who made a conditional offer reserving their right of first refusal.

Qatar''s sole telecom service provider is listed on the London, Doha and Bahrain stock exchanges.

Altimo, the telecom arm of Russian conglomerate Alfa group, had earlier told agencies that it was in talks with "Indian families" to fund them in return for a minority equity stake in Hutchison-Essar.

Altimo and its partners have over 120 million subscribers worldwide. Altimo holds 32.91 per cent voting shares in Russia''s second largest mobile operator VimpelCom, 25.1 per cent stake in Russia''s third largest mobile operator MegaFon, 43.48 per cent stake in Ukraine''s Kyivstar, 29.58 per cent in Russian and CIS alternative fixed-line operator Golden Telecom and 13.22 per cent in Turkey''s largest mobile operator Turkcell.