Tele Sale

Sept 06, 2011 (LBO) – Suntel a wireless access unit of Sweden’s Telia will is being chased by at least two suitors, but Sri Lanka Telecom, the island’s largest telco said it was no longer interested in the firm.

Lanka Bell, the other standalone wireless operator is however profitable due to its access to the ‘Flag’ submarine cable. It sells international wholesale minutes to all operators.

SLT, which is part controlled by Malaysia’s UT group said in a stock exchange filing that it conducted due diligence on Suntel but withdrew from the process on August 24.

Sri Lanka’s DailyFT newspaper citing an unnamed source said Vallibel One, a firm controlled by businessman Dhammika Perera had bid 28 million US dollars for Suntel and Dialog Telekom, a unit of Malaysia’s Axiata had bid 26.5 million US dollars.

The Dialog bid could go up to 31 million US dollars when a voluntary retirement plan for 250 staff was included, the newspaper said.

Analysts say the viability of standalone fixed wireless operators are now questionable due to competition from the mobile sector.