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Reliance Inds in talks to buy stakes in several cable operators: report

business Updated: Jan 16, 2012 10:30 IST

Reliance Industries Ltd is in talks with several leading cable operators to buy minimum 26% stakes, as part of its strategy to reach consumer homes for its fourth-generation broadband services, according to a report in the Business Standard newspaper.

The company, India's biggest by market capitalisation, has approached Den Networks, Digicable Networks, Hathway Cable and Datacom, IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd. and several independent multi-system operators (MSOs), the report said, quoting two unnamed sources.

A Reliance Industries spokesman, told Reuters, that the company was in talks with various operators for partnerships and content deals.

He declined to provide further details, including the names of the firms Reliance was in talks with and the nature of discussions, citing confidential clauses.

The operators could not be immediately contacted by Reuters for comments.

Unlisted Infotel Broadband Services Ltd. is Reliance's vehicle for its telecom space foray.

Earlier in January, Reliance said it would invest in media group TV18's two main companies, marking a major foray into the media sector by the energy-focused conglomerate and giving a boost to its plans to launch 4G services.

There are more than 6,000 cable operators in the country, Business Standard said in its report.

In 2010, Reliance Industries, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani had agreed to buy Infotel Broadband, making his return to telecom after the business was handed over to younger sibling Anil following a family spilt.

Reliance Industries had paid about 48 billion rupees ($1.02 billion) for fresh equity in Infotel to get a 95% stake.