• Monday, January 17, 2022
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UK Corona Update 
Total Fatalities 418,480
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Today's Fatalities 3,998
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India corona update 
Total Fatalities 486,451
Total Cases 37,380,253
Today's Fatalities 385
Today's Cases 2,58,089

Business

Reliance Industries denies bid interest in BT

About nine per cent of BT’s employees are from non-white backgrounds. (REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

SHARES in BT jumped nine per cent in London on Monday (29) before sliding back after India’s Reliance Industries denied a media report it was weighing a bid for the British telecoms group.

Citing sources, The Economic Times said billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance might make an unsolicited offer to buy into BT or try to get a controlling share.

It said Reliance could also partner with BT’s networks arm Openreach and fund its fibre expansion plans.

But Reliance dismissed the report in a stock exchange filing, saying: “We categorically deny any intent to bid for the UK telecoms group BT. The article is completely speculative and baseless.”

In early trading, BT’s shares had risen as much as 9 per cent but pared the gains to trade at 163.5p intra-day, still up around six per cent, following Reliance’s statement. Reliance was up 1.2 per cent at Rs 2,441 (£24.4) on Monday (29).

BT, whose shares have more than halved in the past five years, was already the subject of takeover speculation after Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi bought a 12.1 per cent stake this year.

Drahi will be free to buy more of the British telecoms giant from December 11, having pledged in June he wouldn’t launch a takeover offer for the company – a statement that precluded him from doing so for six months under British takeover rules.

Earlier this year, a private equity consortium, comprising Warburg Pincus and Apax Partners, outbid Reliance to take over the Dutch division of the American wireless network operator T-Mobile.

Eastern Eye

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