India's Bharti Airtel plans to bid for telecom operator Millicom's Sri Lankan mobile network, the Economic Times said on Wednesday, citing two executives familiar with developments.
The move would make it the second largest mobile phone operator in the island nation, trebling its user base from one million now, the paper said.
A spokesman for Bharti told Reuters he would not comment on market speculation.
Bharti will have to compete with an array of suitors such as Malaysia's Axiata Group, Russia's Vimpelcom and United Arab Emirates Etisalat, which are reportedly interested in Millicom's Asian assets, including Tigo network in Sri Lanka, the report said.
Millicom International had put its operations across Cambodia, Laos and Sri Lanka on the block in July, the report said.
Bharti's Sri Lankan arm has already invested $125 million in the country against a commitment of $250 million, the paper said.
Bharti is in exclusive talks with South Africa's MTN aimed at a merger to create the world's third-biggest telecoms firm.
(Reporting by Janaki Krishnan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)