NTT Docomo successfully argued an agreement signed by India’s government in the late 1950s held relevance in a dispute with Tata Sons over the Japanese operator’s stake in Tata Teleservices.
The operator announced the High Court of Delhi approved an order enforcing an arbitration ruling in Docomo’s favour by the London Court of Arbitration (LCIA) in June 2016. The Delhi court’s approval clears the way for Tata Sons to pay approximately $1.18 billion owed to Docomo in return for the Japan-based company’s shares in the joint venture.
Docomo previously argued the Delhi court had no option but to accept the 2016 LCIA decision because India was one of the founding signatories of the New York Convention – which recognises awards made in the UK by LCIA tribunals and other non-Indian courts – in 1958.
The Japanese operator said the process of remitting the shares includes filing notice with the Competition Commission of India, meaning the “timing of actual remittance is uncertain.”
However, the procedure will likely be smoothed by the fact Tata Sons already deposited the sum owed to Docomo with the High Court, which in turn ordered Docomo to assist in the share transfer.
Whatever the actual date of the transfers of monies and shares, it will draw the curtain on a three-year battle between Docomo and Tata Sons regarding a 26.5 per cent stake the Japanese company acquired in Tata Teleservices in 2009 for around $2.2 billion.
In 2014 Docomo exercised an option to pull out of the joint venture, which required Tata Sons to find a buyer to acquire Docomo’s stake at 50 per cent of the original price or a fair market value, whichever was higher. The payment was at the heart of the LCIA decision in 2016.