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`Tatas will dilute stake in Idea at right time, price'

Our Bureau

Plans to set up gas-based fertiliser plant in Bangladesh


The stake share
While Tatas have about 49 per cent stake, Birlas hold more than 50 per cent equity in the venture, which offers mobile services in various telecom circles, including Delhi, and claims to have about seven million subscribers.

New Delhi , April 7

The Tata Group Chairman, Mr Ratan Tata, said on Friday that he would consider diluting stake in Idea Cellular at an "appropriate time and value''. The Tatas are currently embroiled in a tussle with joint venture partner AV Birla Group over their shareholding structure in Idea Cellular.

Raising hopes of resolution of the two-month long fight, Mr Tata told presspersons, "We have always indicated that we shall dilute stake in Idea at the right time and right price."

Mr Tata was speaking on the sidelines of a function at the Institute of Management Technology in Ghaziabad.

The Birlas had earlier asked the Government to direct the Tatas to exit from the joint venture. This was contested by the Tatas, who in turn, sent a termination notice to the Birlas claiming that they would instead buy out the latter.

While Tatas have about 49 per cent stake, Birlas hold more than 50 per cent equity in the venture, which offers mobile services in various telecom circles, including Delhi, and claims to have about seven million subscribers. Mr Tata also said that the group was planning to set up a gas-based fertiliser plant of one-million-tonne capacity in Bangladesh. "We are in the final phase of price negotiations," he said.

On the ambitious Rs 1-lakh passenger car project, Mr Tata said he was not setting any new deadlines for getting the car on the road. "We are looking at several places for setting up the plant," he said. On the issue of job reservations in the private sector, Mr Tata said: "We are all concerned about these people. But I do not think job reservations would solve the problem."

Related Stories:
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