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|January 29, 1998||
Hindujas want to raise stake in Fascel
The Hinduja Group wants to increase its stake in Fascel Limited, the company holding the cellular licence for Gujarat.
"We are negotiating with Himachal Futuristic Corporation Limited and Kotak Mahindra Finance Limited to buy their stake in the company,'' said Ramkrishan P Hinduja of the Hindujas.
He holds the entertainment and telecommunication portfolio within the group.
As HFCL is the original licence holder, the Hinduja group will have to take the Department of Telecommunication's permission before it picks up HFCL's complete stake.
The largest shareholder in the venture is the Shinwatra Group with a 33 per cent holding. The Hinduja Group holds 30 per cent through a 100 per cent subsidiary, ITN.
Bezeq, the Israeli telecom company, holds 16 per cent, while Kotak Mahindra Finance Limited holds 11 per cent, and Himachal Futuristic Corporation Limited holds 10 per cent.
The Hinduja Group has picked up its stake in the company from HFCL in August last year. The final objective of the Hinduja Group is to control the cellular venture along with the Shinwatra group.
The Shinwatra group is the largest holder in the company and has been helpful in executing the project at a very fast pace, according to company officials.
Fascel's cellular network is already operational in four cities in Gujarat, namely Ahmedabad, Baroda, Anand and Surat.
The network will be extended to other cities within the state soon. Fascel has also tied up for automatic roaming facility with World Connect One, a consortium of cellular service providers in other parts of the country.
Subscribers to Fascel through this service can use the same SIM card in other cities outside the state where the participants of World Connect provide cellular phone services.
Fascel's network will be ready to provide services in Hazira next month and in Vapi within the next six months. The network has a subscriber base of between 13,000 and 14,000 in all the four cities that the service is currently available, according to company officials.
They said the network is being put up very fast and the project will also reach financial closure before the end of the current fiscal.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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