A pedestrian uses a mobile phone in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Tata Sons Plans First Overseas Loan in More Than a Decade

(Bloomberg) -- Tata Sons Ltd. is seeking an offshore syndicated loan, as it seeks to pay down expensive debt at telecommunications units, according to people familiar with the matter.

The holding company for India’s biggest business group has mandated lenders for a $1.5 billion six-year loan, the people familiar said this week. Tata Sons plans to use the proceeds to repay debt of units Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra, according to a separate person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the person isn’t authorized to speak.

The weighted average fixed coupon on Tata Teleservices Maharashtra debt is 11.3 percent, more than three percentage points higher that Tata Sons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The world’s second-biggest mobile-phone market is undergoing a shakeout as carriers compete for customers with some of the lowest tariffs on the planet, resulting in losses at companies including Tata Teleservices Maharashtra.

The loan is set to be the first offshore syndicated facility taken out by Tata Sons since 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Group company Tata Steel Ltd. has also hired banks for a separate $1.9 billion loan, as it refocuses on the Indian market and engages in a major refinancing.

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