TATA Communications is looking to raise around R800-1,000 crore by selling at least three non-core assets. These include staff quarters and data centres the company got when it acquired a majority stake in state-controlled VSNL in 2002. The assets include two land parcels, one in the upscale Bandra Kurla Complex and the another in Andheri, a western Mumbai suburb, sources in the know of the development said. The third asset is in Delhi, of which the company intends to sell only a part. All three assets are about one to two acres each. In Bandra Kurla, there are two plots one for residential development and the other for a data centre. At Andheri, there are two residential plots. They were bought by VSNL for R2 crore each many years back.
The company has similar plots or buildings at Vikhroli, Ghatkopar, Chembur and Matunga in Mumbai and Marine Lines in Chennai. There are several such plots at prime locations in Delhi as well.
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A company spokesperson declined to comment on the matter and email queries remained unanswered. However, real estate industry sources said the company had already initiated talks with potential buyers.
Talks are at preliminary stages and the company should be able to sell the assets by the end of the year, a real estate consultant told FE.
In fact, selling non-core assets has been on the companys agenda because it has limited options for raising funds with the government retaining a 26% stake.
It would not be the first time that Tata Communications would be selling land it got from VSNL. Last month, the company sold a land parcel and building in Chennai for R192.3 crore. The 1.5-acre plot was bought by VGN Group, a Chennai-based real estate group established by V Guruswamy Naidu in 1942.
However, former officials of VSNL are critical of Tata Communications move to sell off land parcels. They said the shareholders agreement between the government, which retains 26%, and the Tatas is defective in the sense that it neither bars the company from selling off such land parcels nor makes it mandatory to share the proceeds with the government.
The two government directors on Tata Communications board should be more