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First Tata-Quippo instruction goes to Desai & Diwanji

Desai & Diwanji has scored the first instruction for the merged Tata Quippo towers business, after having originally advised Quippo Telecom on its joint venture (JV) with Tata Teleservices, which was advised by AZB & Partners.

Desai & Diwanji is understood to be advising the Tata-WTTIL on its bid for mobile network operate Aircel's tower business. Unlisted Aircel's total value is estimated at between $1.8bn and $2bn.

The telecoms business Quippo-WTTIL was created after Quippo demerged the majority of its assets into the JV vehicle created with Tata Teleservices.

The total assets of the JV entity amount to Rs 13,000 crore ($2.6bn).

Desai & Diwanji Mumbai partners Jai Diwanji and Vihang Virkar had advised Quippo, with AZB Mumbai partners Abhijit Joshi and Vaishali Sharma having advised Tata Teleservices.

Tata Teleservices is a long-standing client of AZB's.

Negotiations on the JV deal between Tata and Quippo started in early 2008 but only completed last month after the conclusion of complex negotiations and funding arrangements.

One cause for the delays was that Citibank and Lehman Brothers were financial advisers to Tata Teleservices.

After Lehman collapsed one year ago, it took the takeover of its Asian operations by Nomura to bring the Tata-Quippo deal back on track.

Photo by kiwanja

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