Hutchison Whampoa has signalled it will only entertain offers well in excess of $14 billion for its 67 per cent stake in Indian mobile phone operator Hutchison Essar, the Financial Times said on Wednesday. The paper said Hutchison Finance Director Frank Sixt had dismissed an indicative offer of $13.5 billion reportedly made earlier this month by private equity firm Texas Pacific and Malaysian wireless operator Maxis Communications.
“That is not a valuation that would excite us," Sixt said. “A lot of people are interested in having an Indian asset. We have one which we are very pleased with. And really there has not been anything that would rise to the level of being an offer capable of acceptance.” The paper said Sixt was speaking before Hutchison Telecommunications said last week it had been approached by "various potentially interested parties".
Vodafone said last week it was considering the acquisition of a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar. Reliance Communications is looking at a possible bid in tandem with private equity group Blackstone, a source familiar with the situation said.