DoCoMo plans Rs800 crore more investment in Tata Tele

DoCoMo plans Rs800 crore more investment in Tata Tele

New Delhi: Japan’s NTT DoCoMo said on Thursday it plans to invest about Rs800 crore ($179 million) in a rights issue by Indian mobile phone operator Tata Teleservices , in which the Japanese firm owns a 26% stake .

Sources had previously told Reuters Tata Tele was planning to raise 3,000 crore through a rights issue that would be subscribed by major shareholders, including DoCoMo.

DoCoMo said in a statement on its website it had already paid part of the funds and was scheduled to complete remainder of the investment by May.

Tata Tele is expected to use the capital to expand its coverage as well as strengthen the quality of the 3G network it launched in November last year, DoCoMo said.

Tata Tele, India’s fifth-biggest mobile phone operator, is part of the Tata Group conglomerate.

In 2008, DoCoMo bought a 26% stake in Tata Teleservices for $2.7 billion, giving Japan’s top mobile operator a foothold in the world’s fastest-growing mobile market.

Tata Tele spent about $1.3 billion in an auction last year to win rights to offer 3G services in nine of India’s 22 telecom zones. The company had said in November it had set aside $500 million for spending on 3G networks.

A Tata Tele spokesman declined comment when asked for details of the rights issue.

Shares in Tata Teleservices (Maharastra) Ltd , the listed unit of Tata Tele, were up 4.2% at Rs17.05 at 12.30 p.m. Tata Tele, in which Singapore state investor Temasek owns a less than 10% stake, is unlisted.