Prospective suitors for the 67 per cent Hutchison stake in its Indian operations are likely to submit their bids by mid-night in Hong Kong, which could include a fifth player -- Altimo of Russia-- in the fray. Altimo has tied up with Rothschild as advisor and Nomura of Japan as their financier, sources said.
Meanwhile all other players interested in acquiring the stake maintained silence on their bid plans except stating that they are ready with their offers and will submit when required. It is expected that all of them - Vodafone, Reliance Communications and Essar -- will submit the bids at the final hours.
Although no one is willing to disclose about the bid amount, sources close to development said it could be between 18-20 billion dollars. After months of waiting, Hutchison Telecom International, had asked all the interested parties to submit their bids by tonight.
There are atleast four players, including the UK-based Vodafone, NRI Hindujas and Indian entities Reliance Communications and Essar (Indian partner in Hutch-Essar JV with a 33 per cent stake), who have evinced interest in buying HTICL's 67 per cent stake.
HTIL's communication has come at a time when one of the suitor, Hindujas is still to complete the due diligence process and is expected to complete the exercise next week.
HTIL's 67 per cent stake is being valued at up to 20 billion dollars but the two suitors -- Reliance Communication and Vodafone -- recently said they would be conservative while bidding for Hutch's stake.