Tata mulled bankruptcy for TTSL, opted for M&A instead

30 Jan 2017

Indian holding company Tata Sons considered filing for bankruptcy for its telecoms division, Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL), but ultimately decided against the move, given the possible effect on the rest of the group, writes the Economic Times. Despite the difficulties presented by TTSL’s current position, Tata opted to push for a merger or takeover instead. The paper cites an affidavit disclosed by the group’s ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry, as saying: ‘It is a matter of record that doing a merger deal for Tata Teleservices was challenging because of the high number of contingent liabilities that already existed in the business, as well as due to the litigation surrounding dual technology 2G issue. In addition, the entire sector lacked clarity in M&AS regulations.’ Tata is currently embroiled in a dispute with its former chairman, alongside a prolonged legal fight with its partner, Japan’s DOCOMO, the latter of which stems from DOCOMO’s attempts to extricate itself from TTSL via a pre-existing shareholding agreement. Nonetheless, TTSL presents a potential target for acquisition by the sector’s larger providers.

India, NTT DOCOMO, Tata Teleservices (TTSL, incl. TTML, Tata Tele Broadband)