Reliance Industries ‘categorically denies’ any interest in BT

Reliance Industries said it wants to ‘categorically deny’ any plans to bid for British wired services operator BT.

“We categorically deny any intent to bid for the UK telecoms group, BT, formerly British Telecom, as reported in the article titled “Reliance Mulling Bid for UK’s Telco BT Group” published in The Economic Times dated November 29, 2021.

“The article is completely speculative and baseless. We expect greater diligence and verification of facts before publishing such articles,” the company headed by Mukesh Ambani said.

Reliance Industries owns Jio, India’s largest telecom company.

A report by Economic Times daily today said RIL is interested in bidding for BT to boost its fixed-line and global fiber holdings.

The report sent BT’s shares up nearly 10% in London Trading today.

BT, the former incumbent telecom operator of Britain, has been the subject of several takeover speculations in recent years because of its perceived vulnerable position in the market, as well as the lack of a single large shareholder.

Most of the company’s shares are held by several small investors and strategic partners.

The biggest shareholder in BT is France-based tycoon Patrick Drahi, with a 12.1% stake, followed by Deutsche Telekom of Germany with around 12.06%.

BT has been trying to fiberize its UK network, while also expanding its considerable international long-distance holdings.