TTSL stake sale: NTT Docomo files arbitration request

Japanese telecom major NTT Docomo has submitted a request for arbitration to receive Rs 7,250 crore for its 26.5 percent stake in Tata Teleservices (TTSL) once Tata group exits.

According to the latest media reports, Tatas are in talks with Telenor to exit from TTSL. Telenor will merge Uninor, its 100 percent subsidiary in India, with the loss making TTSL, as per the current plans.

NTT Docomo officially announced its plan to exit from India on 25 April.

NTT Docomo, which was not happy with the revenue growth of TTSL, has submitted a request for arbitration with the London Court of International Arbitration, asking it to ensure that Tata Sons finds a buyer who will pay Rs 7,250 crore for the Japanese service provider’s stake in their joint venture.

“NTT Docomo submitted on Jan 3, 2015 a request for arbitration with Tata Sons, Tata Group’s holding company, pursuant to the shareholders agreement regarding the exercise of Docomo’s option to sell its stake in Tata Teleservices (TTSL), a telecom service provider in India,” NTT Docomo said in a statement.

NTT Docomo to exit from IndiaDocomo announced plans to exit the joint venture by selling its stake of 26.5 percent. Tata Sons, by virtue of their first right of refusal, agreed to buy the Japanese company out as per the shareholders agreement.

“Under the terms of the shareholder agreement between Docomo, TTSL and Tata Sons, Docomo exercised on July 7, 2014 its right (option) to request that a suitable buyer be found to purchase its TTSL shares for 50 percent of the acquired price, amounting to Rs 72.5 billion (or 125.4 billion yen), or a fair market price, whichever is higher.”

“Thereafter, pursuant to the shareholders agreement, DoCoMo submitted its request for arbitration to ensure that its right be exercised after Tata Sons had failed to fulfill its obligation, despite Docomo’s repeated negotiations with Tata Sons regarding the sale of its entire stake in TTSL,” the statement said.

Tata Sons spokesperson said: “Yes, we have learnt that Docomo has filed for arbitration. Tata Sons has been committed to honouring its obligations to Docomo, and has taken every possible step keeping in mind the interests of all stakeholders and in accordance with law.”

“Tata Sons has made the necessary application to the Reserve Bank of India, and is awaiting a response. Tata Sons will continue with its endeavour to find an amicable solution,” the spokesperson added.