The London Court of International Arbitration has ordered Indian company Tata Sons Limited to pay NTT Docomo $1.17 billion for its stake in their former jointly owned Indian telco, Tata Teleservices.
Under the terms of the shareholders agreement between NTT Docomo, Tata Teleservices and Tata Sons NTT Docomo on July 7 2014 exercised its option to request that a suitable buyer be found to purchase its Tata Teleservices shares for 50 percent of the acquired price, 72.5 billion Indian rupees ($1.17b), or a fair market value, whichever was higher.
NTT Docomo says Tata Sons has failed to fulfill its obligation, despite its repeated negotiations with Tata Sons regarding the sale of its entire stake in Tata Teleservices.
The court has ordered Tata Sons to pay damages of $1.17b for its breach of the shareholders agreement in return for NTT Docomo's shares in Tata Teleservices. However NTT Docomo says it cannot be certain when, or if, this will happen.
'Some matters remain uncertain, including whether Tata Sons will pay the awarded damages and when the delivery of TTSL's shares will be made,' the company said. 'Accordingly, Docomo is not able to predict how events will unfold. The effect on Docomo's corporate earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 cannot be forecast at this time due to these uncertainties.'
India's Economic Times newspaper, citing people close to the issue, said Tata would either challenge the arbitration award or its enforceability, and that the matter would likely end up in the courts in India.