RComm, Orascom and Maxis in race for Hutch Essar

Hutch Essar, the country''s third largest mobile service provider, is understood to be valued at $13-14 billion and a call could be taken in less than a month, banking sources said.

Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Communication (RComm) is believed to have tied up funds for its bid to acquire Hutch-Essar with global equity players.

UBS is advising RComm in raising debt and resources, investment banking sources said, adding that RelComm may raise an additional $4-5 billion from the market if needed.

Sources said RComm is aiming at a minimum 80 per cent stake in Hutch-Essar, which it is seeking to acquire along with four global private equity players.

RComm has evinced interest in acquiring the entire joint venture and not merely 67% stake held by Hutchison Telecom International (HTIL). In other words, the success would hinge on Indian promoter Essar''s consent to sell its 33% share.

RComm has already concluded borrowings of $1 billion from the international market. The company now has cash reserves of overif needed $1.7 billion. It has also opened talks with four global private equity funds - Blackstone, Texas Pacific Group, Carlyle and Kohlberg Kravis Robert and Co (KKR) - to make a bid for Hutch-Essar.