Indian Interest

Sept 04, 2009 (LBO) – India’s state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is planning to buy Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular’s Sri Lanka operations, a media report said. The management committee of BSNL on Wednesday approved a proposal to bid for thee firm, India’s Hindustan Times newspaper said.

Millicom International is selling its operations in Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Laos. In Sri Lanka, its Tigo network is the third-largest mobile network with a subscriber base of over 2 million (20 lakh).

“We are looking at various opportunities to expand our operations in foreign markets,” the newspaper quoted Kuldeep Goyal, chairman and managing director of BSNL as saying.

“This is one of them.”

UAE’s Etisalet, Malaysia’s Axiata and Bharti Airtel is also reported to be interested in the firm.

Both Axiata and Bharti have mobile companies in Sri Lanka. Reports have mentioned values of around 150 to 200 million US dollars for the Millicom Sri Lanka unit which sells under the brand Tigo.