The government is set to finally sell off its 26.1% stake in Tata Communications, the tier 1 ISP and enterprise telco, the latter said in a stock exchange filing initially reported by the Economic Times. Decades ago, Tata Communications was known as Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), and managed the sole access India had to the internet. In the early 2000s, the government sold its stake in the PSU, and the Tata Group acquired ownership, renaming it Tata Communications. With this stake sale, the government may earn millions of dollars from the equity it has still held on to.
Around 16% worth of shares will be sold through stock exchanges, and the rest will be sold based on how that sale goes to Panatone Finvest, a Tata investment subsidiary. As such, Tata will significantly consolidate its equity holding in the company. The shareholding is valuable in itself, as the company’s annual revenues compare to the big three telcos, even though it operates in a much lower profile. On top of datacentre operations through a former subsidiary (now owned by ST Telemedia), the company also owns and operates a global network of submarine cables that serve as a backbone for the global internet.