India's Reliance eyes controlling stake in UK telco BT

India's Reliance eyes controlling stake in UK telco BT

India's Reliance Industries (RIL), which controls Reliance Jio, is weighing a bid for UK-based telecommunications giant, BT, formerly British Telecom.

According to an Economic Times (ET) report, RIL is expected to make an unsolicited offer to buy a stake into the company or even stake a claim for a controlling share in the company.

Out of 419 institutional investors in the UK company, some may cash out for the right offer, the report said.

The current market cap of BT Group, an FTSE 100 company, is $20.63 billion, as of November 26. If RIL were to take over BT, this will arguably be the largest outbound M&A involving any Indian corporate.

The market observers point out that Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani may have set his sights on the UK to expand Jio’s telecom footprint as he plans to take Jio global.

Reliance was outbid in September by a consortium of Apax and Warburg Pincus for control over a Dutch unit of T-Mobile.

The ET report also said the deliberations were in the early stages and there might not be a transaction.

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