We are ready to acquire overseas companies: Airtel chief (Lead)

November 3rd, 2008 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) Bharti Enterprises Ltd Monday said it was open to acquiring foreign telecom companies, but had not set any immediate target.“We are ready now. With less loans in our cashbooks, the time is ripe, but there are no clear targets,” Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal told reporters here.

Mittal said the company planned to reach $10 billion in annual revenue by 2010 and to reduce its dependency on telecom from the current 80 percent to 50 percent.

Apart from telecom, Bharti has interests in agri business, insurance and retail sectors also.

Earlier this year, Bharti held talks with South Africa’s telecom giant MTN about a possible merger that would have created a global top-10 telecom firm, but no deal was reached.

Mittal is hopeful of making Bharti one of the model groups by 2020.

“We have a new vision to make Bharti India’s finest conglomerate by 2020,” he said after unveiling the company’s new logo, the third one since its inception in 1995.

The chairman said the company is hopeful of starting operations in Sri Lanka this year and all the problems with the local operators regarding interconnection is being sorted out.

Bharti Airtel has made presentation to Lanka government on the interconnection issue.

Bharti Airtel, one of the earliest entrants in India’s mobile services sector, had 77.5 million mobile users at September-20, 20 million more than its closest rival Reliance Communications.

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