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Reliance Communications to Sell 10% Stake in Infratel

 Reliance Communications Ltd., India’s second-largest wireless carrier, will soon seek regulatory approval for an initial share sale of a 10 percent stake in its Reliance Infratel Ltd. unit, Chairman Anil Ambani said, without providing a timeline.

The Reliance Infratel telecommunications infrastructure unit, which sold a 5 percent stake to seven global investors for about $290 million in 2007, had revenue of more than 50 billion rupees ($1 billion) and a profit of 17 billion rupees in the year ended March 31, Ambani told shareholders in Mumbai today.

Billionaire Ambani is tapping a revival in investors’ appetite for new stocks after Indian companies led by NHPC Ltd. raised $1.88 billion in August, or almost 27-fold the total amount in the first half of the year. The company delayed a February 2008 plan to sell shares after India’s benchmark stock index slumped 52 percent, its worst annual performance on record.

The share sale will also help fund an expansion of the nationwide network of 48,000 towers at Reliance Infratel as demand for leasing networks increases, Ambani said.

“Demand for passive telecom infrastructure is likely to more than double in the next couple of years,” he said.

Reliance Infratel is reviving a plan to raise as much as $1 billion by selling shares, three people familiar with the development said Sept. 2.

Source: Bloomberg

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