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Birlas to buy out Tata stake in Idea for Rs 4406 cr

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 10 (UNI) The Aditya Birla group has agreed to buy the entire 48.14 per cent stake of Tata group in Idea Cellular for Rs 4406 crore.

The Aditya Birla group has accepted the Tata group's offer Tata and will acquire its entire holding of 48.14 per cent in Idea Cellular for Rs 4406 crore, a Birla group release said this evening.

While 15 per cent of the offered stake would be acquired by the Aditya Birla group and its subsidiaries, the balance would be acquired by Birla TMT Holdings Pvt Ltd, subject to necessary approvals, the release said.

Birla TMT Holdings, however, intends to place on the same terms, the equity acquired by it, to financial investors, thereby bringing the combined holdings of the Aditya Birla group companies to over 65 per cent, the release added.

The development has come a day after Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata indicated at Hyderabad yesterday that the imbroglio over the Tata-Birla joint venture Idea Cellular would be resolved soon.

''They(Birlas) have a right to buy our stake in Idea and are willing to match the offer we got from Maxis,'' he told reporters amid reports that Birlas may buyout the Tata's stake for an estimated Rs 4,600-4,800 crore to end a bitter battle between India's two oldest corporate houses that became public two months ago.

The Birlas' price offer have come in response to an offer from Malaysian telecom company, Maxis, which recently bought Aircel Telecom, from Sivasankaran.

There was speculation that Tata's may consider Maxis offer in case Birlas failed to match the Malaysian company's offer in 45 days.

A final decision and subsequent agreement between the two sides is yet to be formalised for the deal under which Tata's would sell about 110 crore shares (equivalent to over 48 per cent equity). After the deal, Birlas and its associates would have about 98.3 per cent stake in Idea Cellular.

Had Birlas failed to match the offer, Maxis telecom would have automatically bought Tata's stake in Idea, which offers mobile services in several telecom circles in the country, including Delhi.

As of now there are four private telecom service providers - Bharti, Hutch, Reliance Infocomm and Tata Telecom - having footprint in 17 or more circles.

UNI GC SA SKB2039

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