Analysts reveal that the successful bidder for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT), the country’s telecommunications firm, will gain access to a substantial land bank comprising over 500 lots, extending across hundreds of acres in Sri Lanka. Valued at billions of rupees, these lands offer opportunities for development and expansion, with some scenic locations holding tourism potential.
India’s Jio Platforms and China’s Gotune International Investment Holdings are currently pre-qualified bidders vying for the government’s 50.23% shares in SLT, aiming to privatize the telecom giant.
While SLT is known for its telecom services and bandwidth, analysts emphasize the hidden potential within its land assets. The Ministry of Finance, representing the government, invited investors to submit Request for Qualification (RFQs) for the divestiture of SLT shares. The goal is to find a buyer capable of optimizing infrastructure and effectively utilizing the company’s resources.
Industry experts anticipate that new entrants into the market, such as Jio Platforms and Gotune, could lead to enhanced customer benefits, particularly in broadband and international connectivity. The success of these newcomers will hinge on strategic decisions made by the potential owner.
Despite some industry insiders downplaying the acquisition hype, suggesting that the Sri Lankan telecom market can support three major players, the entry of fresh competition raises expectations for positive impacts on customer benefits. The diverse offerings from multiple operators cater to varied consumer needs, according to industry players.
Senior government sources reveal that global company Hutchinson, worth $45 billion, had previously shown interest in acquiring Mobitel, SLT’s digital arm.
In conclusion, analysts assert that the divestiture of SLT shares opens up new possibilities for the company and the telecom market in Sri Lanka.