Search begins for BSNL, MTNL consultant

New Delhi, Oct 29 | Updated: Oct 30 2004, 05:38am hrs
The selection process for a consultant for the proposed synergy between public sector telecom giants Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited (MTNL) kicked off on Friday, with presentations from merchant bankers. The presenations will continue through Saturday.

The whole process is likely to be completed in a month, DoT secretary Nripendra Misra told FE. The selection committee will first choose a consultant. The name would then be recommended to the ministers office for a decision, Mr Misra said.

DoT has asked the six merchant bankers to put in their bids for the fee they want to charge.

Among the options for synergising the two companies, the government is considering disinvestment of up to 5% in BSNL in order to list it on the bourses. This would facilitate merger between the two, as MTNL is already listed.

The other options include buy back of MTNLs shares to merge it with BSNL and the third is creating a holding company. The government owns about 55% stake in MTNL and 100% in BSNL.