The Rs 1,500-crore, Chennai-based TTK Group--a diversified home appliances-to-healthcare product enterprise known for its household brand Prestige--is in advanced stages of talks with Tata Capital for divesting its forex business, TT Forex. Sources said, the financial services arm of the Tata Group may acquire TT Forex, which has offices across the country.

If the deal is struck, it would give Tata Capital access to clients and network of the Bangalore-headquartered TT Forex, which is a division of TT Holdings & Services Pvt Ltd. Adding forex services to its bouquet will be a relatively new area for Tata Capital, which presently offers a

number of travel related services.

One source said, Tata Capital could be paying upfront cash of Rs 10-15 crore if discussions succeed. While the size of this business (TT Forex) could not be immediately ascertained, it clearly constitutes a small component of the group turnover. An industry tracker said, typically such diversified groups constantly look at restructuring their porfolio of businesses and divest some of the fringe and non-core assets. A banking source, who is not part of this transaction, said, the group had, in the past too, toyed with the idea of divesting interest in TT Forex and TTK Healthcare TPA Pvt Ltd.

TT Forex offers services like travelers cheques, money transfer, travel currency card and foreign exchange against credit card amongst others. It has centers in Bangalore (including one at Bangalore International Airport), Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, among others. Some of its centers are implants in companies like Tata Consultancy Services (Chennai and Mumbai) and United Nations Development Programme (in Delhi).

“Tata Capital does not wish to comment on the same,” said a Tata Capital spokesperson. Emails sent and calls made to TTK Group officials did not elicit a response till the time of publication of this article.

Tata Capital has been expanding its service bouquet and entering new areas as it aims to become a financial services conglomerate. TC Travel and Services Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Capital, offers customized holiday packages, airline ticketing, visa & passport facilitation, hotel accommodation and cars-hire & surface transport. The firm acquired the travel ticketing business of Inditravel Private Limited in December 2008.

Tata Capital offers consumer and housing financing, advisory services, private equity, among others. Tata Capital recently said it plans to hive off infrastructure financing into a different subsidiary. It has also tied up with Japan’s Mizuho Securities to raise a growth capital private equity fund. It has also formed a venture with Japan's Capital Services Holding Corporation in the receivables space.

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