Millicom has turned down a bid from India’s BSNL for its Sri Lankan assets reportedly due to an inferior bid offer.
BSNL chairman and MD Kuldeep Goyal told local press “we had quoted a value what we thought was appropriate but it has fallen short of their expectations."
News reports suggest that India's largest private mobile operator Bharti Airtel is now actively bidding for the assets. Malaysia's Axiata Group and UAE’s Etisalat are also vying for the asset.
Millicom would not confirm any of the names on the shortlist, but told TelecomsEurope that negotiations were continuing.
In recent months the Luxembourg-based global carrier group has put a number of its Asian assets on the market including those in Sri Lanka, Laos and Cambodia. A spokesperson for the carrier said it was anticipated that the transactions would all to be completed by the end of Q1 2010.
This week Millicom announced that it has arranged to sell its controlling stake in Laotian carrier Millicom Lao to Russia's Vimpelcom for €44 million. It has also signed an agreement for the sale of the Cambodia business to its local partner the Royal Group for €235 million.
Following the close of the transactions, Millicom will renew its focus on the other regions where it has operations, namely Central and South America and Africa.