Tata Sons may bankroll most of Tata Teleservices unit’s dues

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KOLKATA | MUMBAI: Tata Sons will bankroll most of the Rs 10,000 crore that its Tata Teleservices (TTSL) unit owes to the federal government, despite the fact that Bharti Airtel, which is shopping for TTSL’s mobility enterprise, has formally assumed the duty to clear the dues, individuals aware of the matter mentioned.

In a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) about two weeks in the past, Airtel and TTSL mentioned the Sunil Mittal-promoted firm would take care of the fee, together with in the direction of licence charge, spectrum utilization cost and one-time spectrum cost, mentioned a DoT official, asking to not be named.

“This was after we informed them that we need to have a clear understanding on who is making the payments,” the official mentioned. But he mentioned the cash would possible come from Tata Sons, which is promoting TTSL’s mobility enterprise to Airtel on a cash-free, debtfree foundation.

A prime Tata Group government near the event mentioned there was no query of Airtel selecting up any prices on the deal. “Airtel is most likely to take an ironclad guarantee from Tata Sons that they (the Tatas) will fund them,” the official mentioned.

A Tata spokesperson and Bharti Airtel declined to remark to ET’s queries. Tata Sons is eager to get the deal closed as quickly as doable, since it’ll enable it to get rid of the bleeding mobility enterprise. DoT’s approval is the final step earlier than the closure of the deal.

DoT officers had requested the 2 firms to obviously lay down the contours of the sale in order that it may establish which entity can be chargeable for the liabilities. “We will only deal with the licence holder and therefore we will want our dues from either Airtel or TTSL,” mentioned one other DoT official, clarifying that Tata Sons may make the funds, however the dues formally should come from a licence holder.

In October 2017, Bharti Airtel mentioned it might purchase TTSL’s shopper mobility enterprise, which might increase its income and buyer base and provides entry to 4G airwaves within the 850 MHz band. The acquisition will even assist it slender the hole with market chief Vodafone Idea and broaden lead over Reliance Jio Infocomm. At that point, Airtel had agreed to tackle solely deferred fee liabilities of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore for spectrum that TTSL had purchased in auctions.

Tata Sons can be finalising the sale of TTSL’s enterprise enterprise to Tata Communications. At current, separate pleas of TTSL and its listed unit, Tata Teleservices Maharashtra, to be merged with Bharti Airtel are with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

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