Indian government exits former state provider Tata Communications

Indian government exits former state provider Tata Communications

The government of India has fully divested its final 10% stake in Tata Communications.

India’s Economic Times newspaper reports that the government shifted the stake to Panatone Finvest, which is a unit of the Tata Sons conglomerate, via an off-market trade.

Founded as Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) in 1986, the company was the original Indian state operator, and was wholly owned by the government until 1992. It was the sole provider of international telecom services in India until 2002, and was restructured as Tata Communications in 2008.

That same year, the government sold a 25% stake in the unit to Panatone Finvest, and also transferred management control to the buyer. TeleGeography notes that the Indian government has held a 26.12% stake in VSNL since 2006, but announced earlier this year that it would fully exit the one-time state provider.

It accomplished this across 16th-17th March via a sale shares offering for a 16.12% equity stake to retail and non-retail investors. The next day, it closed the sale of the remaining 10% to Panatone Finvest.