Buy-Out

Oct 26, 2007 (LBO) – India’s state-run telecom firm MTNL, which is trying to buy Sri Lanka’s fixed wireless operator Suntel, has put conditions for the buy-out as it tries to cash in on legal cases the Sri Lankan firm is involved in. “We are the preferred bidder and are working hard at it. During our discussions with Suntel, we have put forward several conditions,” said a senior MTNL official without disclosing the conditions, according to Indian news reports.

The Times of India and PTI quoted industry sources as saying the conditions are attached to the legal cases Suntela, unit of Sweden’s Telia, is involved in with a customer.

The case may have a bearing on Suntel’s valuation, which MTNL is trying to cash in on.

The official declined to put a timeframe on when it would be in a position to finally clinch the deal.

It is a very long process, the details of the purchase are being discussed at present and MTNL cannot take any chances since it is a big transaction and the company is a listed PSU, the news reports said.

Therefore, putting a timeframe is difficult, said the official.

Two other companies are also in the fray to acquire Suntel.

MTNL, which is believed to have submitted the bid to acqu