BSNL's IPO plans

Telecommunications has once again grabbed the centrestage. After a nailbiting three years, the government finally announced the roll out of 3G auctions and mobile number portability. But the best is yet to come — telecom behemoth Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is going in for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), the biggest the country has ever witnessed so far to mop up $10 billion from the market. The receipts of the IPO through a sale of 10 per cent of its stake would help BSNL achieve its mega-expansion bids but the company would now have to be listed in the bourses as a precursor to the sell off. The sell off against a possible onslaught of a belligerent trade union will go ahead as the Board too gave the green signal a move that was kept in cold storage due to political pressures. Now with the left parties out of the UPA, the government is more upbeat about pushing in reforms.BSNL’s dilution was earlier put off due to pressures from the Union. ‘’The BSNL board has okayed the IPO and has asked the government to facilitate the listing of the company. The process of appointing merchant bankers has also begun,’’ a BSNL official said. The IPO also comes in the wake of scorching competition in the sector, mainly from private players who are forever trying to steal a march through wooing subscribers and offering cutting edge technology.If the sale goes through, BSNL would be valued at 100 billion dollars and would cata pult the company into the big league in the world in terms of market cap.

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