Info-tech

RCom in talks for stake sale in undersea cable business

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 27, 2013 Published on August 27, 2013

Reliance Communications (RCom), India’s third-largest telecom operator by subscribers, is in talks with potential investors to sell a stake in its submarine cable unit Reliance Globalcom.

“Those are discussions in progress,” its Chairman Anil Ambani said, answering shareholders’ queries at the company’s annual general meeting. He, however, did not provide further details.

In April, RCom had informed the stock exchanges it was in advanced stages of negotiations with a consortium of private equity firms led by Samena Capital to sell a majority stake in the sub-sea cable unit. This came after Reliance Globalcom abandoned talks with Bahrain Telecommunications Co to sell a majority stake.

Separately, RCom would work together with Reliance Jio, Mukesh Ambani’s 4G telecom venture, in a wide range of services.

“The companies would collaborate and co-operate even more in the months and quarters to come,” he said.

“We have already signed two different agreements with overall value of more than Rs 14,000 crore and we believe there will be much more cooperation in the months and quarters to come…,” Ambani said.

Ambani, who welcomed the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) move to re-farm spectrum, also said RCom would participate in future auctions as spectrum needs arise. Reliance Jio is gearing up to launch 4G services this year.

DATA CENTRE

RCom is also setting up a four-lakh square-foot data centre with an investment of about Rs 500 crore at Navi Mumbai. On completion, it would increase the total data centre area to 8.5 lakh sq ft, Punit Garg, President and CEO of RCom’s global enterprise business unit, said.

“The data centre would be operational by the fourth quarter of this financial year,” he added.

In 2011, RCom had a Rs 1,400-crore contract from HDFC Bank for building and managing a data centre, under a 15-year outsourcing deal. HDFC Bank would be anchor customer for the data centre.

rajesh.kurup@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 27, 2013
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