Videocon’s Dhoot confident of Motorola handset unit takeover

April 5th, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Indian electronics major Videocon Group’s chief Venugopal N. Dhoot has expressed confidence about acquiring Motorola Inc.’s handset business. “I have thrown my hat in the ring. And they will say it is a good hat as it is an Indian hat,” Dhoot said in his usual euphemism on the sidelines of a conference here Saturday. He refused to divulge any financial details.

“We have sent our expression of interest to Motorola. In US, it takes about a year for all the necessary regulatory approvals to take place,” Dhoot said adding that the firm has appointed UBS as the investment banker.

Earlier this week, the Mumbai-based appliances and electronics giant announced plans to acquire Motorola’s loss-making unit.

“It may be a very serious business for us because we have got mobile phone licences for 22 circles in India. Apart from that, we have our own retail network with about 1,000 shops where we sell mobile phones,” Dhoot said Monday adding that Videocon was well positioned for a bid, which could be financed from internal accruals and debt.

Motorola, world’s third-largest producer of mobile phones, last week said it would split its loss-making subsidiary into a separate firm with its own listing on the stock market.

The Schaumburg, Illinois-based company has, however, not made any comments so far.

In 2005, Videocon acquired the picture-tube business of France’s Thomson for $291 million. It had also made an unsuccessful bid for South Korean Daewoo Electronics in 2006.

India is the world’s fastest growing market for wireless subscribers, adding more than eight million users a month. With some 251 million wireless users it is expected to surpass US as the world’s second-biggest market, led by China.

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