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Airtel-Tata Tele deal: C Sivasankaran to drag Cyrus Mistry to court for causing him Rs 3,000 crore loss

Serial entrepreneur and former Aircel promoter C Sivasankaran has reportedly said he will drag former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry to court for "mismanaging and scuttling the planned sale of Tata Teleservices to Vodafone India".

Sivasankaran, who holds a single-digit stake in Tata Teleservices, claimed that he suffered a loss of Rs 3,000 crore because of Mistry and is now planning to file lawsuits against Mistry and Tata Teleservices in India and the Seychelles, where he has citizenship, reported The Times of India.

“I will also write to Tata Sons, urging them to file a case against their former chairman because according to the deal then discussed, the group would have received Rs 26,000 crore. Mistry’s mismanagement has cost TTSL’s shareholders and they have lost all equity,” Sivasankaran was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.

Sivasankaran claimed that he still holds about five percent of the telco. He had bought an eight percent stake in the firm in March 2006 for Rs 1,500 crore.

 Airtel-Tata Tele deal: C Sivasankaran to drag Cyrus Mistry to court for causing him Rs 3,000 crore loss

A file photo of Cyrus Mistry. AFP.

Earlier this month, Mistry had questioned the rationale behind the free sale of Tata Teleservices to Airtel.

Questioning the "free transfer of Tata Teleservices" to Airtel, Mistry said the Tatas did not derive any benefit from the deal despite transferring 40 million customers, a large swathe of liberalised spectrum and access to the telecom firm's extensive fibre network, while the deal immensely benefited the acquirer.

Terming the deal, which boosted Airtel's market capitalisation by almost Rs 30,000 crore, as a "sweetheart deal," Mistry said, "he fails to understand the logic of offering Bharti Airtel access to these assets effectively for free."

In October 2017, Bharti Airtel decided to acquire the Tata conglomerate’s consumer mobile business, Tata Teleservices, virtually free of charge.

The Tatas and Bharti Airtel agreed to merge the consumer mobile businesses (CMB) of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd (TTML) into Bharti Airtel.

Tata Teleservices was losing money. TTSL saw its net worth fall by over Rs 11,600 crore in FY17, and losses increased from Rs 2,409 crore to Rs 4,617 crore year-on-year. Revenues, meanwhile were down 10 percent to under Rs 10,000 crore.

In October 2016, Sivasankaran alleged that Mistry destroyed the value of the Tata group, built over 100 years, by making baseless allegations against the group, which resulted in a Rs 35,000 crore drop in the market capitalisation of group companies.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jul 10, 2018 15:58:03 IST