Hutchison to decide bidder by 17 Feb; Orascom says it has not pulled out

Hutchison Whampoa plans to pick up a preferred bidder for a controlling stake in Hutchison-Essar before February 17, when the Chinese New Year holidays begin.

This is according to a Dow Jones report, which cited the South China Morning Post as its news source. The Chinese New Year holiday begins on the February 17 in Hong Kong.

Hutchison Telecommunications International, owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing's Hutchison Whampoa, owns Hutchison-Essar 67 per cent.

In the meanwhile, Orascom says that it has not pulled out of race for Hutch-Essar and is very much interested. But it is yet to make a firm bid for Hutch-Essar.

Orascom has also said that the Egyptian government has written to the Indian government, seeking clarity on the government stand on the same. The company also confirmed a strong presence on HTIL Board.

So far only two companies have expressed formal interest for Hutch-Essar. Also, there has been no bid from Vodafone for Hutch-Essar yet.