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Reliance to buy Flag Telecom for $207 mn

October 16, 2003 18:19 IST

In the largest ever acquisition in the services sector by an Indian company and first by Reliance abroad, a Reliance group company is to acquire 100 per cent equity in Nasdaq-listed Flag Telecom Group Ltd for $ 207 million [about Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion)].

"Reliance Gateway, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Infocomm, has signed an amalgamation agreement with Flag Telecom Group for this acquisition, which will be subject to necessary regulatory approvals," Anil Ambani, vice-chairman, Reliance Industries, announced in Mumbai on Thursday.

The acquisition, to be funded through internal accruals, will compliment Reliance Infocomm's roll out of next generation digital network in India and enable Reliance to serve its customers worldwide more effectively by offering end to end solutions, he said.

"This is our first step to look at global communication infrastructure space," he added.

The Flag board on Thursday approved the amalgamation agreement and the shareholders meeting have been scheduled for December to seek their nods, he said, adding Flag was also listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Ambani said Flag had a market capital of $ 7 billion at its peak and has laid submarine cables of around 50,000 km across the globe and has hubs in Middle East and the United States.

The company's network spans four continents and has presence in Asia, Europe, Middle East and US.

Flag, a bandwidth company, had filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 last year, and had successfully come out of the filing.

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