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September 5, 1997


Cell phone companies restructure equity, change partners

A number of cellular service operators in metros and telecom circles, including Reliance, Modi Telstra, Usha Martin, RPG, Aircell, Fascel, Tata Communications, Escotel and Modicom have obtained the Department of Telecommunication okay for restructuring the equity ratio and changing partners.

Among the companies operating in metro cities Modi Telstra, earlier known as Indian Telecom, has changed its holding pattern - Modisoft 51.1 per cent, Telstra International 25.26 per cent, Telstra South Asia Holding 23.74 per cent and Indian Management Advisor and Leasing 0.9 per cent. At the time of bidding, the consortium was held by Modi Rubber 25 per cent, Indian Management Advisor 15 per cent, Modi Holding 5 per cent, Fine Institute 5 per cent and OTC, Australia, 50 per cent.

Sterling Cellular, another consortium which has been allowed to change its promoters and equity ratio was at the time of bidding held 50:50 between Sterling Computers and its foreign partner Cellular Communication International. After the changes were affected, the status is Sterling Computers 51 per cent, Cellular Communication International Inc, Mauritius, 10 per cent, Mobilvest, Mauritius, 30 per cent and OCBs and NRIs 9 per cent.

At the time of bidding Usha Martin Telecom was held by Usha Martin Industries 41 per cent and Telecom Malaysia 39 per cent. After DoT approval for change the position is UMTL Holding Company 28 per cent, Usha Martin Telematics 23 per cent, Telecom Malaysia 40 per cent and others (MFs, FIIs) 9 per cent.

Bharti Cellular has changed its partners on the following lines: Bharti Televentures 51 per cent, EMTL, Mauritius 17 per cent, Mobile System International, UK, 4.5 per cent, General Mobile Company, UK, 22.5 per cent, Stet International, the Netherlands, and NRIs 2 and 3 per cent respectively. At the time of bidding the position of the company was Bharti Telecom 30 per cent, EMTEL, Mauritius, 20 per cent, SFR, France, 25 per cent, Mobile Sys, UK, 5 per cent, International Group of Companies and group of NRIs 10 per cent each.

RPG Cellular, which was at the time of bidding known as Mobile Telecom Services, was held between Ceat, India, 26 per cent, other Indian partners 24 per cent, Vodafane Group PLC, UK, 37 per cent and Mitsubishi Corp, Japan 3 per cent.

The company has changed its ratio to Ceat Finance Company 26 per cent, Ceat Holding 25 per cent, Airtouch Limited, Mauritius, 20 per cent, Cellfone Limited, Mauritius, 26 per cent, Itouchu Corp and Mitsubishi Corp, Japan, 1.5 per cent each.

After approval from DoT for change, the equity pattern of the BPL Systems and Projects is group of nine BPL companies 60 per cent, France Telecom, France, 26 per cent and LCC Inc, USA, 14 per cent. Initially the group of nine BPL companies had 49 per cent, France Telecom 39 per cent and LCC Inc, USA, 14 per cent.

Seven cellular operating companies from the telecom circles have obtained approval from DoT for changes in their partners. Aircel Digilink India was constituted by Sterling Computers Limited 60 per cent and Swiss PTT 30 per cent and Nepostel Consultancy, the Netherlands, 30 per cent.

The company, after change, has Sterling Computers 60 per cent, Swiss PTT 10 per cent. The proposal for balance equity for a foreign partner is under DoT consideration.

Fascel of HFCL is restructured on the following lines: HFCL 40 per cent, Kotak Mahindra Finance 11 per cent, Bezeq Globe Holding, Mauritius, 40 per cent, Shinawatra International Public Company Limited, Thailand, 33 per cent. At the time of bidding, the consortium profile was HFCL 43 per cent, Kotak Mahindra 11 per cent, Bezeq, Israel, 16 per cent and Shinawatra 30 per cent. Hexacom India has changed its holding patter to Shyam Telecom Limited 40 per cent, Telecommunications Consultants India 30 per cent, Mobile Wireless Company Limited, Mauritius, 10 per cent, PCM Mauritius Private 10 per cent and Telesystems Mauritius 10 per cent.

The only change the consortium made from the time of bidding was to replace Ali and Fouad MT Kuwait Holding 10 per cent stake with Telesystems.

Tata Communications Private Limited has not made any change in its equity ratio of Tata Industries 10 per cent, TISCO 10 per cent, Bell Canada 10 per cent. But it has incorporated Bell Canada International Inc, Mauritius, 29 per cent and AIC, Mauritius 10 per cent.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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