BT sells down Tech Mahindra stake
BT will sell part of its 30% stake in telecom and IT outsourcer Tech Mahindra, prompting renewed speculation the company may exit the Indian venture entirely.
The UK incumbent revealed plans to sell up to 5.5% of Tech Mahindra to its Indian joint venture partner, automotive group Mahindra & Mahindra, in a deal that could be worth $90 million (€67.7 million), FT.com estimates.
The deal would increase Mahindra & Mahindra's holding in the JV to around 48%.
BT flagged possible further sales in the future, but said it expects to remain a shareholder in Tech Mahindra “for some time.”
The operator has long been trying to unload its stake in the venture, although it could take time to do so because Mahindra & Mahindra is unwilling, or unable, to buy the lot, FT said.
BT considers the investment to be a non-core asset and has reportedly held talks with private equity firms over a sale.
The divestment comes at a bad time. Tech Mahindra's share price on the Bombay exchange has fallen from a high of 1,130 rupees (€18.59) in January, to 625.05 rupees as of Friday - a near annual low.
BT may use the proceeds from the sale to help tackle its debt, which was £8.7 billion (€10.2 billion) at September 30.