Bharat Sanchar Nigam awaiting state nod for divestment

June 23rd, 2009 - 4:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Tuesday said it was awaiting approval from the government for its maiden initial public offering (IPO).
BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goel told reporters here that the company would initiate its valuation process and start talks with labour unions after getting the government’s go-ahead.

“If the government decides we have to go for IPO, then we will talk to the unions and evaluate the company,” Goel said.

BSNL, which has proposed to dilute 10 percent of the government’s equity holding through IPO to raise about $10 billion, has a paid up capital of around Rs.5,000 crore and clocked revenues around Rs.45,000 crore in 2008-09.

The company also has more than Rs.30,000 crore in cash balance and is going gung-ho on its expansion plan, mainly through acquisitions.

“We are looking at some telecom operators in African countries,” said Goel.

The telecom major had last year invited bids for equipment to build 93 million GSM lines valued at over $6.5 billion.

Talking about the bid results, Goel said: “The financial bids have been opened and Ericsson has qualified for north and east and Huawei for south.”

He, however, did not mention who won the contract in the western India.

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