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Tantis buy 49% in You Telecom arm

BS Reporters  |  Mumbai 

Tulsi R Tanti

Wind energy billionnaire Tulsi R Tanti, the chairman and managing director of Suzlon Energy, and his family have diversified their business interest and picked up a 49 per cent stake in broadband service provider You Telecom’s cable TV subsidiary, Digital Outsourcing, for around Rs 100 crore.

Citigroup Venture Capital International-owned You Telecom has a 36 per cent stake in Digital Outsourcing, while the remaining stake is held by high networth individuals.

When contacted, You Telecom CEO E V S Chakravarthy confirmed the development. Tulsi Tanti could not be contacted for his comments.

“The investment done by Tulsi Tanti family is of personal nature and Suzlon is not in any way connected to the deal,” said a senior Suzlon executive.

This is the third major investment by Tulsi Tanti and his family in recent months.

Sources also said they were not sure whether the Tantis’ invested in the telecom player through Tanti Holdings, which has about 9 per cent stake in Suzlon, or through Colossus Holdings (another privately-held investment and holding company of Tulsi Tanti and his family). Tulsi Tanti is a director of Colossus Holdings.

A few months ago, Colossus Holdings formed a joint venture with Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank to buy Singapore-based Honiton Energy Holdings, which operates wind farms in China for about $500 million. The Tanti family took a 26 per cent stake worth about Rs 100 crore in the joint venture with the Bahrain bank, which acquired the Chinese farms.

Tulsi Tanti, through his new venture Suzlon Green Power, had also announced a few months ago to invest about $1.5 billion in equity for development of over 3,500 MW of green power assets worldwide within the next five years with a total project value estimated at over $5 billion.

Tulsi Tanti and his family directly and indirectly own 66 per cent of the Rs 13,670-crore Suzlon Energy, the world’s fifth leading supplier of wind turbines with a 10.5 per cent share of the global market.

You Telecom has cable TV operations in Mumbai, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam and Dharwad in Karnataka. It has over one million analogue and digital cable subscribers. The company also has a majority stake in Scod18 Networking, an association of cable TV distributors in Mumbai.

Telecom had earlier announced plans to pump in Rs 400 crore over the next two years to expand its cable TV and broadband businesses. The deal was reported last week by a leading television portal.

Citigroup Venture Capital International owns an 85 per cent stake in You Telecom, while Bennett Coleman & Company (the holding company of The Times of India) holds a 5 per cent stake and the remaining is held by an Esop trust.

First Published: Tue, December 09 2008. 00:00 IST