Tata Group paid the government and its lenders about Rs 50,000 crore to complete the sale of its mobile-phone services business to Bharti Airtel Ltd. through a deal that was announced two years ago.
Tata Sons Pvt., the group holding company, had paid Rs 10,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications late last month after settling all pending loans worth Rs 40,000 crore owed by the unit Tata Teleservices Ltd, the Mumbai based group said in an emailed statement.
“All debt obligations of the consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices have been repaid as per schedule," a Tata Group spokesperson said.
Tata was forced to exit its mobile-phone services business after the consolidation triggered by the entry of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd in 2016. The new operator came armed with a deep pocket and offered free calls and cheap data services forcing incumbents to either exit, merge with rivals or restructure their strategy holistically.
Tata agreed in October 2017 to dispose of the unprofitable businesses in the sector and merge them with Bharti Airtel, which is now the nation’s second-biggest carrier. The deal was termed as a “debt-free, cash-free” transaction.