Jeddah: Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the Arab world’s largest telecom company by market value, has denied a report it was discussing buying a stake in an Indian telecoms tower unit.
India’s Business Standard, citing sources with direct knowledge of the developments, said state-owned STC was looking to take a stake of 10 to 15% in the newly created GTL-Reliance Infratel tower unit.
“There are no discussions to buy a stake in this firm,” said Ghassan Hasbani, the chief executive for international operations at STC.
STC is looking at expansion opportunities abroad in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Hasbani had told Reuters in an interview earlier this month.
The Business Standard report said private equity funds such as Carlyle, Blackstone and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the Abu Dhabi government, had also shown interest to invest in the venture.
Reliance Communications’ deal to sell its telecoms towers will help the operator to more than halve its debt to about $3.9 billion, a source said, in a move that triggered broker upgrades on Monday.
Shares in STC were down 1.04% at 0929 GMT, while the benchmark was down 1.9%.