BT shares soar as Indian billionaire circles

India’s richest man is reportedly considering a bid for BT, sparking a share surge in the telecoms giant.

BT shares soar as Indian billionaire circles
© Provided by The Telegraph BT Tower

The FTSE 100 company jumped as much as 10pc in morning trading following reports in India that Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries could make a takeover offer for BT. 

It may also join forces with Openreach, the broadband network operator owned by BT, to help fund its fibre expansion plans, the Economic Times reported.

Reliance denied the report, which it said was “completely speculative and baseless”.

Shares were 4.4pc higher at 160.8p, valuing BT at almost £16bn.

The speculation comes months after the French billionaire, Patrick Drahi, acquired a stake of more than 12pc in BT to become its biggest shareholder. 

The founder of the French broadband company Altice said in June he had no intention of making an offer, but BT’s board has been bracing for a potential takeover bid. 

A lock-up preventing Mr Drahi from buying more shares or making a takeover ends on Dec 11.

Meanwhile, private equity firms and investment funds are assessing Openreach, the broadband network operator owned by BT, for valuations of up to £40bn, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Mumbai-based Reliance tried to buy the Dutch division of T-Mobile for €5.1bn two months ago, but lost out to a private equity consortium including Warburg Pincus and Apax Partners.

BT has been contacted for comment.

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