Indian billionaire denies BT takeover interest

India’s richest man has denied he is considering a takeover bid for BT after its shares soared.

Indian billionaire denies BT takeover interest
© Provided by The Telegraph BT Tower

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

India’s Economic Times also reported that it could join forces with Openreach, the broadband network operator owned by BT, to help fund its fibre expansion plans.

Reliance said: “We categorically deny any intent to bid for the UK telecoms group BT. The article is completely speculative and baseless.”

BT shares were 5.9pc higher at 163p in late morning trading, valuing BT at £16.2bn. 

In June the French billionaire, Patrick Drahi, acquired a stake of more than 12pc in BT to become its biggest shareholder. Shares were trading above 200p following his swoop. 

The founder of the French broadband company Altice said at the time 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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