Japanese telecom firm NTT DoCoMo has picked up a 12.12% stake in Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd (TTML) for around Rs 570 crore ($112 million) through an open offer. TTML is 37.5% owned by Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL). The open offer which was made jointly with Tata Sons (the holding company of the Tata Group firms) for 20.25% stake in public listed TTML ended on March 12. The offer was managed by Lazard India.

Among those who appear to have participated in the open offer include public sector insurance giant LIC. LIC, which was the single largest non promoter group shareholder in TTML as of December end, has sold its entire 1.57% stake representing around 2.98 crore shares at the offer price of Rs 24.7 translating into a deal worth Rs 73.8 crore($14 million).

TTML scrip rose 1.31% to close at Rs 23.15 at NSE, marginally below the open offer price.

Promoter group which included Tata Teleservices, Tata Sons among other Tata Group firms including Tata Power and Trent Brands owned 65.64% stake in TTML as of December 31, 2008.

With DoCoMo picking up 12.12% stake, the promoters' stake would have gone up to 77.76%. It is not clear if Tata Sons which was the person acting in concert with DoCoMo picked up the remaining 8% in the open offer or the open offer received partial success.

The open offer followed an indirect stake acquisition of TTML by DoCoMo  through its deal for unlisted TTSL. NTT DoCoMo had entered into a deal with the Tata Group to acquire 26% in TTSL through partial buyout (6%) of existing shareholders and fresh issue of shares (20%) in a $2.7 billion deal.

This valued the unlisted CDMA technology based telecom operator at $10.38 billion, much higher than public listed Reliance Communications which has almost double the number of subscribers compared to TTSL in the same technology platform. The deal which was announced last November was completed last month.

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