VSNL’s 773 Acres to Land in Hemisphere, Govt mulls 26% Stake Sale in Tata Comm
Land assets worth .₹ 10,000-15,000 crore will be hived off into a separate co and sold
Govt and Tatas close to settling on surplus land
to be filed with NCLT shortly and send later to Cabinet for approval Gulveen Aulakh & Devina Sengupta
New Delhi | Mumbai : The government and Tata Communications are close to settling a 15-yearold real estate dispute through a deal that will see around 773 acres of land worth .₹ 10,000-15,000 crore hived off into a separate company and sold. The government may also, over time, sell its 26% stake in Tata Communications, earlier known as Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), after the deal. The move is set to give the Internet and fibreproviding arm of the Tata Group more flexibility in its operations, especially by being able to raise equity — which it hasn’t been able to due to the government holding — and improve its debt-equity ratio. Two senior telecom department officials said that talks are in their final stages. Once completed, the scheme of arrangement will be filed with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and then sent for approval to cabinet.
“We’re working on the final stages. We want to finish the process as quickly as we can, after which it will go to NCLT, which will again take about three to four months,” one of the officials said.
“The surplus land demerger is a priority and all the stakeholders involved are working in earnest towards the finalisation of the same,” said a Tata Communications spokesperson. The government and Tata will transfer the land assets after the demerger to Hemisphere Properties (HPIL), in which the government holds a 51% share, the second official said.
Both parties have been seeking to work out a deal over the past year and want to complete it by March 2018, said the people cited above. Land demarcations have concluded at three locations in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai and are nearing completion at two in Delhi and Pune, the second official said.
15-yr old dispute Scheme of arrangement