Reliance Communications is negotiating with China’s Citic Telecom to sell a 50 per cent stake in its undersea cable interests – a move that could lend a helping hand to India’s debt-laden fourth-largest mobile operator, according to the Financial Times.
The talks are exclusive after Citic beat off interest from two Middle Eastern bidders earlier this month.
Citic Telecom is ultimately controlled by Citic Group, China’s largest conglomerate with industrial and financial services interests.
Talks are described as “quite advanced” and expected to yield a result in a few weeks’ time.
If the deal to sell a stake in Reliance Communications’ undersea interests, which is called Global Cloud Xchange, does go ahead then it could release some pressure from the operator’s finances as it strives to maintain its position in India’s mobile market.
This is not the first time that Reliance has tried to sell some or all of its cable interests. Attempts last year to sell the business first to Bahrain Telecommunications and then to a group of private equity firms both fell through.