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NTT DOCOMO gets $1.2 billion payment from Tata Sons to settle all disputes

October 31, 2017
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Japan-based firm NTT DOCOMO has stated that it has received over $1.2 billion from Tata Sons, a move marking the end of their two-year old dispute over their Indian telecom joint venture. The amount received by DOCOMO pertains to the arbitration award and includes interest earned and other costs incurred.

Further, all shares in Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) held by DOCOMO have been transferred to Tata Sons and companies designated by Tata Sons.

In February 2017, Tata Sons had stated that it had reached an agreement with the NTT DOCOMO on a joint approach to enable enforcement of a compensation award granted by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in 2016 in favour of the Japanese company. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had objected to the transfer, which was later rejected by the Delhi High Court in April 2017, thus directing Tata Group to pay over $1.18 billion to the Japanese firm.

In November 2009, DOCOMO had acquired 26.5 per cent stake in TTSL for about Rs 127.40 billion at Rs 117 per share. This was as per the understanding that in case it exits the venture within five years, it will be paid a minimum 50 per cent of the acquisition price.

Consequently, in April 2014, DOCOMO decided to exit the joint venture that struggled to acquire subscribers. It had sought Rs 58 per share or Rs 72 billion from Tata Group. But the Indian Group offered Rs 23.34 a share in line with the RBI guidelines which state that an international firm can only exit its investment at a valuation not exceeding that which is arrived at on the basis of return on equity. The Japanese firm had then dragged the Indian partner to international arbitration where it had won the $1.18 billion award. It had also filed a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking enforcement of the arbitration ruling.

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