Tata Comm may buy Tele’s enterprise biz

Tata Communications on Thursday said it will explore the possibility of acquiring the enterprise business of Tata group firm, Tata Teleservices.

This follows Bharti Airtel announcing that the consumer mobile business of (CMB) of Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra (TTML)’s will merge with it on a cash-free, debt-free deal.

"Tata Communications proposes to engage in exploratory discussions with TTSL and TTML regarding the potential acquisition of its enterprise business,” Tata Communications said in a regulatory filing.

It added that its board met on Thursday and has instructed the management to appoint independent advisors to “evaluate the strategic fit as well as the financial merits of the potential transaction”. "The board will review the recommendations before making any final decision,” it said.

Tata Communications pointed that in the normal course of operations, it looks at potential opportunities in various markets in the best interest of the firm. "Tata Teleservices has built a powerful asset, serving enterprise customers in the fast growing Indian market. We believe this would be a good fit for Tata Communications and its customers, and help to further strengthen Tata Communications’ leadership position in this segment,” it said.

The strategy overall is part of Tata Group’s plan to find a solution for the troubled mobile business of the conglomerate. Tata Teleservices, the mobile business, was weighed down by huge debt, spectrum liability and monthly cash losses. Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran had recently conceded that the group’s mobile business Tata Teleservices is in a “really bad shape” and that a “tough call” will have to be taken.