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As many as 11 merchant bankers, including Goldman Sachs, JM Financial and Axis Capital, are in race for managing the sale of the government's 26.12 per cent stake in Tata Communications Ltd.

The government will sell its entire stake in Tata Communications Ltd (TCL), erstwhile VSNL, through an offer for sale and strategic sale route by March 20, 2021.

The merchant bankers would be making presentations before the officials of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management on February 9, according to a notice posted on the DIPAM website.

The other merchant bankers who are in the fray include ICICI Securities, Credit Suisse Securities, IDBI Capital Markets, Kotak Mahindra Capital, SBI Capital Markets, IIFL Securities, Yes Securities and Elara Capital.

Public sector VSNL was privatised in 2002 by divesting 25 per cent shareholding along with transfer of management control to Panatone Finvest Ltd, the strategic partner.

Subsequent to the strategic disinvestment, the name of the company was changed to Tata Communications Ltd (TCL).

As per the disinvestment plan of TCL, a part of the government shareholding will be offered through OFS mechanism and the balance, including any leftover portion in the OFS, will be offered to strategic partner Panatone Finvest Ltd.

As per the shareholding pattern of TCL, the promoters hold 74.99 per cent in the company. Of this, the Government of India holds 26.12 per cent stake while Panatone Finvest holds 34.80 per cent and Tata Sons holds 14.07 per cent. The remaining 25.01 per cent is with the public.

The government has so far this fiscal mopped up Rs 19,499 crore from CPSE disinvestment. The revised disinvestment target for this financial year has been set at Rs 32,000 crore, substantially lower than budgeted Rs 2.10 lakh crore.

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