No plans to buy Vodafone stakes, Loop: Bharti Airtel

New Delhi, Sep 5 : Bharti Airtel has no plans to buy back 4.4 percent Vodafone stake in the company, chairman Sunil Mittal said Thursday.

"We have no plans to buy back 4.4 percent Vodafone stake in Airtel," Mittal told reporters on the sidelines of Bharti Airtel's 18th annual general meeting here.

Following the guidelines of the new Unified Licence, Vodafone Group will be required to sell its 4.4 percent stake, worth USD 1 billion, in Bharti Airtel. The new rules bar telecom players from holding any beneficial interest in competitors operating in the same service areas.

Mittal also scotched the talk of Bharti Airtel acquiring Mumbai's oldest cellular network Loop Mobile. "We have no plans to buy stake in Loop," he said.

Speculation started doing the rounds when it was reported that Loop owners, Dubai-based IP Khaitan and family, were seeking to exit the telecom sector.

Mittal said Airtel's African operations would continue to grow.

Recently, the company named a new chief executive for its Africa operations. Christian de Faria, who has been with South African telecom firm MTN, will take over as chief executive officer from Jan 1, 2014.

--IANS (Posted on 05-09-2013)

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