Telecom giants Reliance Industries and Lycamobile are among three potential buyers vying for a stake in Sri Lanka’s state-owned Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), setting the stage for a high-stakes bidding war. The island nation’s State-Owned Enterprises Restructuring Unit confirmed initial interest from Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance, and Pettigo Comercio International, linked to the Lycamobile group. Gortune International Investment Holding also threw its hat in the ring, completing the trio of prospective bidders. Gortune International is an entity made up of private Chinese investors, reported Economy Next.
These proposals will be scrutinized under the recently established Special Guidelines on Divestiture of State-Owned Enterprises, as approved by the Cabinet in July 2023. The International Finance Corporation, a seasoned financial advisor, has been entrusted with steering the sale process.
With Reliance and Lycamobile, both heavyweights in the global telecom arena, expressing interest, Sri Lanka can expect a fiercely competitive bidding process. This potential influx of foreign investment and expertise could significantly shake up the local telecom landscape, benefiting both consumers and the economy.
However, the success of the sale hinges on navigating complex considerations, including ensuring transparency, securing a fair price for the government, and safeguarding the interests of SLT employees. Sri Lanka will be closely watched as it navigates this crucial transaction, with the potential to unlock significant economic benefits and revamp its telecom sector.