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Ravi Ruia arrives at Hutchison home base

Hong Kong, Dec. 26 (PTI): The race to acquire Hutchison Telecomís (HTIL) stake in Indian joint venture Hutch-Essar intensified today, with Essar vice-chairman Ravi Ruia and his advisers arriving here reportedly for talks to buy out its partner.

When contacted, an Essar spokesperson declined to comment, but sources said the talks between Essar and its partner were on acquiring HTILís 67 per cent stake in the Indian JV company.

Essar, the Indian partner in Hutch-Essar, has the right of refusal if HTIL decides to sell its shareholding, for which there are at least four other bidders ó UKíS Vodafone, Indiaís Reliance Communications, Egyptís Orascom and Malaysiaís Maxis Communications.

Ravi Ruia was said to be accompanied by adviser Morgan Stanley and banking adviser Standard Chartered to the talks.

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