Mumbai: Reliance Industries, India’s biggest listed company, is looking to enter the telecoms market when the opportunity arises, with a focus on selling phone and Internet services to companies, a newspaper reported on Thursday, citing two unnamed sources.
It said the energy-based conglomerate controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani may look to buy one of the winners in an ongoing government auction of broadband wireless spectrum.
The newspaper cited Himachal Futuristic’s Infotel Broadband Services, which it said was bidding for spectrum in the auction, as a possible acquisition target.
The report said Reliance’s board has approved plans to enter the Indian telecoms sector and the firm may unveil its plans at its June 18 annual meeting.
Mukesh Ambani was freed to enter the telecoms sector after ending a pact last month with his long-estranged brother Anil Ambani that prevented them from competing on each other’s turf.
When the brothers split up the family empire in 2005, Anil got the Reliance Communications business, which is now India’s No 2 mobile operator and is looking to sell a 26 percent stake.
While some in the Mumbai media speculate that Mukesh Ambani may ultimately invest in his brother’s mobile company, others believe such a prospect is unlikely given the animosity between the brothers in recent years.
The newspaper said Mahendra Nahata, who controls Himachal Futuristic, declined to comment on the matter, while a Reliance spokesman declined to comment on its telecoms plans, it said.