Tata made $226 mn from VSNL | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Tata made $226 mn from VSNL

Tata Communications (formerly Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd or VSNL) gained more than $226 million by selling its equity in three global companies — Intelsat, Inmarsat, and New Skies Satellite within three years of buying VSNL in 2002 for Rs1,439 crore.

delhi Updated: Mar 23, 2011 02:04 IST
Manoj Gairola

Tata Communications (formerly Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd or VSNL) gained more than $226 million by selling its equity in three global companies — Intelsat, Inmarsat, and New Skies Satellite within three years of buying VSNL in 2002 for Rs1,439 crore.

This is apart from the 1,200.13 acres of land it got along with the company. Of this, more than 427 acres are in prime locations in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata.

The balance 773.13 acres of surplus land that was supposed to be hived off into a separate company as part of the disinvestment deal, is still on the books of Tata Communications.

Communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal has ordered an probe into the matter, last week.

In fiscal 2004, VSNL sold its shareholding in Inmarsat, a satellite communications company, for $30.3 million. In the next fiscal year, it sold its shareholding in Intelsat for $169 million and its equity in New Skies satellite for $27 million. Within three years of buying VSNL, the Tatas sold $226 (R1,000 crore on today’s exchange rate) worth of assets.

“Tata Communications sold some of its investments in satellite companies in 2004 and 2005 for certain profits as part of its normal business activities,” a company spokesperson said. “The non-surplus land that belongs to the company is meant for its business purposes — therefore, not surplus. It is academic to talk about its value.”

In February 2002, the Tata group bought 25% stake in VSNL for R1,439 crore. Later it paid R1,140 crore to increase its stake to 45% through open offer.