VSNL Acquires Teleglobe for $239 million

Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL), a Tata group company, announced on Jul 26, 2005 the acquisition of the Nasdaq listed Teleglobe International Holdings Ltd., a leading provider of wholesale voice, data, Internet Protocol (IP) and mobile signalling services for an enterprise value of $239 million.

The acquisition would be carried out through the amalgamation of Teleglobe with a VSNL subsidiary in Bermuda — VSNL Telecom (Bermuda) Ltd.

According to Rajiv Dhar, Chief Financial Officer, VSNL, the funding for the acquisition would come from a mix of internal accruals and borrowings for refinance of the company's existing debt.

Of the $ 239 million enterprise value, the equity offer of $4.5 per share to the shareholders of Teleglobe is at a premium of 22 per cent over the previous closing share price and would amount to $178 million. The main shareholder of Teleglobe is Cerberus, a private equity firm, which holds 66 per cent equity post-restructuring, which commenced in 2003. The remaining $61 million is the net debt of the company. The transaction would need government approvals from various countries like the U.S. and Canada and would be closed in 6-8 months. Once merged with VSNL, Teleglobe would automatically be de-listed from Nasdaq.

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda with a large operating centre in Montreal, Canada, Teleglobe was Canada's incumbent International Long Distance (ILD) carrier and has more than 1,400 wholesale customers and carries over 13 billion minutes of voice traffic globally.

For the year ended December 2004, Teleglobe reported an operating profit of $19 million and a net loss of $38 million. VSNL would absorb Teleglobe's 800-strong workforce.

Addressing the media, Srinivas Addepalli, Group Chairman's office, Tata Industries, said, the strategic imperatives of this move would help VSNL achieve global scale in its wholesale voice business, enhance the TGN network utilisation and product portfolio and expand the business portfolio to related, high margin products.

Earlier this month, VSNL had announced the completion of the TGN acquisition from Tyco Global, which consists of an undersea cable network spanning 60,000 km and the continents of North America, Europe and Asia.

Major overseas takeovers by Indian companies:

  • Videocon buys Thomson unit for Rs 1,200 cr
  • Tisco buys Singapore steel firm for Rs 1,313 cr
  • Tata Tea buys Tetley for Rs 1,800 cr
  • Daewoo’s Korean truck unit bought by Tatas for Rs 465 crore
  • Reliance buys Flag Telecom for Rs 950 cr
  • Reliance buys Trevira for Rs 451 cr
  • Ranbaxy buys RPG (Aventis) for Rs 300 cr
  • VSNL buys Tyco Global Network Rs 600 cr

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