Telenor may buy DoCoMo's stake in TTSL

Dylan Bushell-Embling
05 Jan 2015

Norway's Telenor is reportedly back at the negotiating table regarding a potential acquisition of a 26.5% stake in India's Tata Teleservices.

Telenor is in discussions with NTT DoCoMo regarding acquiring the Japanese operator's stake in Tata Teleservices, the Hindu Business Line reported.

Sources interviewed for the report stated that Telenor is considering buying Tata Teleservices with an eye to merging the stake with its own Indian subsidiary Uninor.

DoCoMo paid $2.7 billion for the 26% stake in Tata Teleservices in 2009, and as part of the terms of the deal, is entitled to require Tata Group to buy back the stake for at least 50% of the purchase price.

But Tata has so far been unable to buy back the stake, and is struggling with a high debt burden. The proposed acquisition would relieve Tata Group of this obligation.

Telenor and the Tata Group have pre-existing partnerships, including a joint investment in a global IT services business, and their existing telecom operations are complementary.

Telenor and Tata Teleservices had first started discussing the possibility of a merger in 2012, but the talks stalled due to uncertainty over spectrum pricing and merger regulations. The spectrum pricing issue is due to be resolved during the upcoming spectrum auction in February.

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