Engaged Tone

Sri Lanka Telecom on Thursday informed the stock exchange that it had launched a bid to buy up wireless local loop operator Lanka Bell.
“SLT has entered into a non-disclosure agreement with Lanka Bell to enable a study to be undertaken of that company,” Sri Lanka Telecom informed the Colombo Stock Exchange.rn

rnThe announcement comes after SLT Chairman Thilanga Sumathipala told Lanka Business Online on Monday that a controlling or two thirds acquisition of Lanka Bell, will help SLT to rollout its network in the rural areas.rn

rnWith around 44,000 customers on its network, Lanka Bells cost per line is around US$ 1,000. SLT is believed to have made an offer of US$ 400 per line.rn

rnSumathipala said the final cost of the acquisition would depend on the valuation of Lanka Bells balance sheet from the study. rn

rnSLT is 35 percent owned by Japans Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (NTT), the government controls 49.5 percent and the employees own the balance shares.rn

rnThe government last year sol