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Temasek takes $330m stake in India’s Tata Teleservices

Singapore-based Temasek has made its second transaction in the telecommunications sector in 2006, buying a minority stake in Mumbai’s Tata Teleservices.

Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore government, has taken a 9.9 percent stake in Indian telecoms business Tata Teleservices through wholly-owned subsidiary Aranda Investments.

Financial terms were not disclosed but Reuters, quoting a source, reported that Temasek paid $330 million (€277 million) for its stake in Mumbai-headquartered Tata.

The Tata transaction is Temasek’s second foray into the telecommunications space in Asia this year, following its $1.89 billion acquisition of a 49.6 percent stake in Thailand’s Shin Corp in January.

“We are excited about India’s growth prospects and the telecom industry provides with us an attractive opportunity to participate in this fast growing market,” said Manish Kerjriwal, managing director of Temasek Holdings, in a statement. “As a shareholder in Tata Teleservices, we are privileged to have the opportunity to invest in a company that is poised to become a significant national player.”

Launched in 1996, Tata Teleservices was the first company to launch code division multiple access (CDMA) mobile services in India. According to the company, it is the market leader in the fixed wireless telephony market with a total customer base of over 3.3 million. Tata provides mobile services, fixed wireless phones, public booth telephony, Wi-Fi internet services and data services.

In separate news, Temasek was also reported to have acquired a 9.95 stake in Japanese logistics services business i-Logistics for an undisclosed sum, according to Business Times Singapore.

Established in 1974, Temasek Holdings manages a diversified global portfolio of $60 billion, principally in Singapore, Asia and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The unit focuses on the telecommunications and media, financial services, property, transportation and logistics, energy and resources, infrastructure, engineering and technology, pharmaceuticals and biosciences sectors.