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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Spice Telecom's mega plans to spice up telecom market

The telecom battle is getting spicier. Spice Telecom has an aggressive $2.5-billion plan for India and will hit the market with an IPO by December. CNBC-TV18 reports that Spice will not find the going easy in the fiercely competitive telecom market.
From being a two-circle operator, the company has plans to extend its operations to 21 new circles, for which it has applied for a license. Spice plans to invest $2.5 billion over the next two-three years.

And it will be tapping the capital markets in December to raise funds. The first round of Spice's public offering will be of around $250-300 million, to be followed by another offering of about $350 million in 2008.

"We have just finalised due diligence and preparation of the offer document. We hope that by late October-early November, we would be in a position to go for an IPO," said Dilip Modi, VC, Spice Communications.

The company's enterprise value is likely to be around $1.5 billion. Telecom Malaysia holds 49 per cent stake in the company and the Modi Group owned MCorp Global holds the remaining 51 per cent. Both Telecom Malaysia and MCorp Global are likely to dilute an equal stake prior to the IPO.

Subject to availability of spectrum, the company plans to roll out services by the middle of next year. While setting up fesh networks might be a tall order, the company has expressed its interest in being a mobile virtual network operator. However, current regulations do not allow that.

That's not all, the company also plans to get into retail in a big way send this article to a friendwith fully owned retail outlets, which will sell telecom products and services including Spice handsets. Dilip Modi says the company plans to have 1,000 such outlets by the end of 2009.


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