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SSTL open to buyouts, but will wait for SC decision

The Supreme Court had cancelled 122 licences, including 21 of SSTL, granted in 2008

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Telecom operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), whose 21 licences are among the 122 cancelled by the Supreme Court, today said it is open to acquisitions, but will wait for the apex court decision on its curative petition.

"We may be interested in acquiring .. But before any initial investment, we will have to see the current situation... But at this stage, I do not see any M&A until the decision of the Supreme Court," SSTL CEO Vsevolod Rozanov told reporters here.

Earlier in February this year, the Supreme Court had cancelled 122 licences, including 21 of SSTL, granted in 2008 during the then telecom minister A Raja's regime.

Stating that it has been "unfairly penalised in the February ruling of the Supreme Court", the company had filed a curative petition seeking restoration of its licences.

Asked if the company was in discussions with any potential targets, Rozanov said, "Nothing serious to report on this."

"We are trying to see how we can, depending on the timing, SC decision, new views on spectrum auction and how we can continue our operations," he added.

Media had reported that SSTL was in discussion to buy another operator Aircel.

Saying that current M&A rules do not support consolidation, Rozanov said the "market cannot support more than five players, while keeping operators profitable."

He expressed hope the Supreme Court will take up its curative petition before January 18, 2013 before its licences are cancelled and that the decision will be in its favour.

Russia's Sistema has 56.68% stake in SSTL, which offers CDMA services under the MTS brand.

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First Published: Mon, November 19 2012. 17:43 IST