It says something about the shifting dynamics of the global economy that an Indian firm like conglomerate Reliance Industries could be about to launch a bid for control of British telecoms giant BT.
The reports come after a private equity bid for Telecom Italia which suggested the whole sector was in play.
Telecoms stocks have been as unloved as a cold caller on Christmas Day, and this is reflected in depressed valuations.
Reliance itself was outbid on a deal for control of a Dutch unit of T-Mobile as recently as September, and it may have rivals for its apparent interest in BT.
French billionaire Patrik Drahi, the founder of Altice, has been steadily building up a position in BT and Deutsche Telekom already has a sizeable stake.
“It will be interesting in this context to see if this rumoured move by Reliance flushes out other parties and dials up a bidding war for BT,” said Russ Mould from AJ Bell.
“You can understand why BT might attract interest. Despite its substantial pension liabilities and debts and iffy track record, it has a near monopoly position in the UK’s broadband network. And, for all its recent woes, BT has the capacity to generate substantial cash flows.”