GLOBAL ASSETS HOLDING CORPORATION (GHC) GETS SECURITY NOD TO OFFLOAD UP TO 49% STAKE

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Global Assets Holding Corporation (GHC) has got clearance from security agencies as well as Ministry of Home Affairs to offload up to 49% stake in the company to a clutch of foreign investors. GHC sources told that following the approval, GHC would offload between 10-12 % stake to Technology Offshore (which is supported by a consortium of banks from Europe and the US) for about Rs 580 crore.

Global Assets Holding Corporation (GHC) is the holding company of network services firm GTL and telecom tower major GTL Infrastructure. “While we have got clearance to offload up to 49% stake in GHC, we will only divest about 10 - 12% for about Rs 580 crore,” a company source said. It was first reported last year that that GHC was offloading a stake to raise about Rs 580 crore, but so far, the deal was held up as it had not got the security clearance. In December 2007, India’s foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) did not clear the deal as the MHA was of the view that it required security clearance as GHC held stake in both GTL and telecom tower major GTL Infrastructure. With telecom being a strategic sector, the Home ministry has also sought that GHC furnish additional details such as address, country of registration and information related to number of directors of the foreign investors.

With the company submitting the requisite details, the FIPB has now given the goahead for the transaction. Following this deal, GHC plans to increase its investment in GTL from 28% to 62%. GHC has also said that it will also increase its stake in GTL Infrastructure. Also, after GHC offloads between 10-12% stake to Technology Offshore, the total foreign direct investment in GTL will to increase to about 49% from 40.7% while in FDI in GTL Infrastructure was to rise to 39.3% from 33.9% currently, sources said.

GHC is also the holding company of two unlisted firms — India Wireless Technology Ltd, in which it holds a 30% stake, and Global Innov-Source Solutions, which is wholly-owned by it. GHC has established itself as a leading player in the telecom infrastructure and networking services space. At present, the group has combined revenues of Rs 1,281 crore and over 5,000 employees across 25 countries.

GHC sources also say that the company will use the proceeds from the deal to further increase its investments in other unlisted group companies. They also added that the company would invest in its overseas subsidiaries for expanding business opportunities globally. Industry sources say that investors were keen to pick up stake in GHC primarily because of the impressive performance of GTL and GTL Infrastructure.

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