Maxis denies plans to sell Aircel stake to AT&T

Malaysia's Maxis Communications dismisssed reports it is planning to sell its 74% stake in India's Aircel, a Reuters report said.

Earlier, the Economic Times of India said Maxis is looking to sell the stake to US giant AT&T.

The unlisted, Kuala Lumpur-based Maxis denied the report and reiterated its commitment to build Aircel's mobile business in India, the world's fastest-growing cellular market, the Reuters report said.

'This news item is based on speculation, having no basis whatsoever. We are not aware of any discussions with AT&T about this matter,' Maxis said in a statement.

'Maxis Communications and its partners remain committed to the accelerated growth and development of Aircel to be a successful Pan-Indian operator,' it said.

In May, Maxis said it would spend €2.5 billion (US$4 billion)-€3.1 billion (US$5 billion) in India by 2009/10 to expand its network. It has in the past denied newspaper reports that it planned to exit its Aircel unit.

Unlisted Aircel, which has 7,000 telecom towers, has nearly 11 million subscribers in India.

AT&T, which has applied for licences in India in partnership with the Mahindra Group, was reported last year to be eyeing a wireless acquisition in the fast-growing market.

It said earlier this year it would invest €635 million (US$1 billion) worldwide for expansion.

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