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GTL looking at buyouts

india Updated: Sep 26, 2006 05:49 IST
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After demerging its asset-based business into GTL Infrastructure Ltd (GIL), the GTL group is gearing up for a second round of restructuring. This round will see induction of a strategic investor in the BPO business and a couple of overseas acquisitions by GTL in the planning and designing space.

“The BPO business has been hived off as a separate company with around 700 employees. The voice business of the IT services wing has been hived off. We are looking out for an investor in that business,” GTL chief operating officer Charudatta Naik told HT.

While GTL is not actively searching for an investor, there are a lot of inquiries about the business. “People are coming to us inquiring about the business. We know there is good interest in it,” he said. While the new company is yet to be named, GTL is keen to bring in a large player to manage the business. The other part of the next round of restructuring will be acquisitions. Naik said: “We have a war chest of $150 million. We are in talks with three-four boutique companies. We are settling terms with two companies and there may be some announcement soon.” Naik said there would be key acquisitions made within a year and these are likely to be based on the east coast of USA and also in Europe.

“We need to grow in network, planning, designing and professional services. These are the areas where we will look to acquire,” he said.

In the current quarter, the BPO business will not be a part of GTL’s accounts and will be accounted for in the subsidiary company. With the assets demerged under GIL, GTL is expected to touch around Rs 950-1,000 crore in the financial year.

GTL had a 15-month year that ended on June 30, 2006 and will have a nine-month current financial year that would end on March 31, 2006.

Prakash Ranjalkar, Chief Operating Officer of GIL, said: “We are spending around Rs 1,000 crore on creating new assets this year—largely mobile telephony towers. We would not be able to bill all of them but expect to bill around Rs 120-150 crore in this financial year.”

Ranjalkar is hoping to add 3700 greenfield towers in the next 12-15 months and also acquire some more from existing infrastructure of mobile operators who would like to take these assets out of their balance sheets.

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