Indian conglomerate Tata Group could divest a 15% equity stake in telco Tata Teleservices, according to the Times of India. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings is reported to be interested in buying a 10% stake, whilst the local Sterling Infotech group could buy 5%. The deal is expected to fetch Tata around USD320 million, said the paper.
Tata Teleservices was licensed in 1997 and launched local wireline services in Andhra Pradesh in 1999. Tata Tele holds unified access services licences (UASLs) for 20 out of 23 telecoms circles — all but North East, Jammu & Kashmir and Assam — and had established a presence in 1,600 towns and cities across the country by the end of September 2005. In addition to local telephony the telco provides business-oriented services including ISDN and ADSL lines, VPNs and managed leased lines. It is also a market leader in fixed-wireless local telephony.