Eager to expand its footprint overseas, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited said on Tuesday it has a war-chest of about $6 billion (approximately Rs 30,000 crore) and is looking for acquisitions, especially in South Africa.
"We are looking at various options, whether it is new licences being issued or partnering with existing players in the overseas markets," BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goel told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.
"We have cash balance of over Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) with us and BSNL has already got a go-ahead from the government to apply for overseas licenses," he added.
South Africa is one of the potential markets for acquisitions.
The PSU is looking at Africa as an area of focus as it is an emerging region and also culturally, financially, African countries suit more to India firms.
The state-run firm offers telecom services throughout the country except in Delhi and Mumbai where Mahanagar Tephone Nigam Limited operates.
The PSU has already shortlisted eight consultants, including Ernst & Young, McKinsey, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, for its plans of mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and overseas forays.
According to sources, BSNL has also empaneled British Tele Consults, Value Partners, PRPM Consults and Diamond Management and Technology Consultants for its global forays.