Reliance Industries on Monday issued a clarification on report suggesting that the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate is bidding for UK telecoms group, BT, formerly known as British Telecom.
In a statement, RIL stated, "We categorically deny any intent to bid for the UK telecoms group, BT, formerly British Telecom, as reported in the article titled “Reliance Mulling Bid for UK’s Telco BT Group” published in The Economic Times dated November 29, 2021," adding that "The article is completely speculative and baseless. We expect greater diligence and verification of facts before publishing such articles."
A report citing multiple sources, had stated that Reliance might make an unsolicited offer to buy into BT or try to get a controlling share. It could also partner with BT's networks arm Openreach and fund its fibre expansion plans, it added.
Meanwhile, shares in BT jumped as much as 9 per cent on Monday the report.
After rising as much as 9 per cent, shares in BT were trading up 8 per cent at 166.35 pence at 0842 GMT, valuing the company at 16.5 billion pounds ($22 billion). Reliance shares ended 1.13 per cent up at Rs 2,439.50 on BSE on Wednesday.
The British company, whose shares have more than halved in the last five years, was already the subject of takeover speculation after Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi bought a 12.1 per cent stake this year.
Drahi will be free to buy more of the British telecoms giant on December 11, having pledged in June he wouldn't launch a takeover offer for the company - a statement that precluded him from doing so for six months under British takeover rules.
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