Aircel chief says company not for sale

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) Putting an end to the speculation of majority stake in Aircel being bought out by US-based AT&T, Aircel today said the company was not for sale.

''As of now, Aircel is not for sale. We have enough funds ...,'' Aircel Chairperson Suneeta Reddy told UNI on the sidelines of a conference on 3G Mobile Broadband for All.

AT&T was reported to be in discussion with Malaysia's Maxis Communications to buy out its 74 per cent stake in Aircel.

Aircel currently offers services in nine circles and has also received start-up spectrum in 13 other circles.

She added that the firm, a market leader in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Assam and north-east circles, will roll out its services in six-seven circles across the country by end of this fiscal.

''We have received the spectrum and will roll out the services in six-seven circles, including Kolkata and Bangalore, by March 2009,'' Ms Reddy said.

AT&T has already received national and international long distance (NLD and ILD) licences in the country. It needs an Indian partner for entering the mobile service space as FDI guidelines restrict foreign ownership in Indian telecom operators to 74 per cent.

Post its merger with Cingular Wireless in 2004, AT&T had quit India after selling Idea stake.

UNI SBA SR HS1940

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