Tata Sons told to pay $1.17 bn in damages to DoCoMo

Mumbai/Tokyo, June 24 (IANS) Tata Sons, the holding arm of India’s largest business conglomerate, has been asked by an international arbitration panel to pay $1.17 billion to the Japanese telecom major NTT DoCoMo towards alleged breach of agreement by a group company.

NTT DoCoMo, a part of Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp, had filed a plea last year at the London Court of International Arbitration against the Tatas, seeking damages for Tata Sons’ failure to find a buyer for DoCoMo’s stake in Tata Teleservices.

DoCoMo had decided to opt out of Tata Teleservices by selling its entire stake of a little over 26 percent. The stake had been acquired for $2.7 billion. DoCoMo said it had asked the Tatas to find a buyer at half that price, or $1.17 billion, or a higher fair-market value.

A Tata Sons spokesperson said while the court order has been received, it was still under study.

“We will not be able to comment further at this stage, beyond maintaining our consistent position that Tata Sons has always been and continues to be committed to discharge its contractual obligations in a manner consistent with the law,” the spokesperson said.

DoCoMo said in a statement that it was forced to go for arbitration following the failure of repeated negotiations with Tata Sons regarding the sale of its entire stake.

“As of the date of this press release, some matters remain uncertain, including whether Tata Sons will pay the awarded damages and when the delivery of Tata Teleservices shares will be made,” it said.

“Accordingly, DoCoMo is not able to predict how events will unfold. The effect on DoCoMo’s corporate earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, cannot be forecast at this time due to these uncertainties.”

The Japanese firm serves over 70 million mobile customers in its home country via advanced wireless networks, including a nationwide LTE network, the company website said. Outside of Japan, it is providing technical and operational expertise to seven mobile operators and other partners.



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