Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s mobile firm Altimo, which had recently evinced interest in Hutch-Essar, said it was still looking for potential acquisition opportunities in India.
“We plan to invest over $2 billion (Rs4,400 crore) in the next few years into mobile telephony projects in Asia and emerging markets like India, Indonesia and Vietnam,” Altimo vice-president Kirill Babaev said. Altimo sees these markets as highly lucrative from an investor’s viewpoint— with a large population, low mobile penetration and high economic growth rates.
The company’s chief financial officer Teijo Pankko had recently said it was in talks with Essar and Hinduja groups about a potential role in the acquisition of Hutch-Essar. When asked if Altimo, holding an estimated $14 billion worth of telecom assets, was still looking for acquisition opportunities in the Indian telecom space, Babaev said, “We’re interested in the market, but it is too early to name exact projects.”
Altimo said in a separate statement issued on Wednesday that it has borrowed $1.5 billion from Deutsche Bank AG to expand in fast growing markets like India.