Telenor confident of roping in new partner before auctionMay 31st, 2012 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Norwegian firm Telenor Thursday said it is confident of roping in a new partner before the 2G spectrum auction takes place.
“If we have to go into the auction it will be with a new partner… we are in talks with a handful of local companies,” Sigve Brekke, executive vice president and head of Telenor’s Asia operations, told reporters here.
Brekke said the new partner may have 26 percent share in the new entity, as Indian rules allow foreign companies to own a maximum of 74 percent stake in a telecom venture.
“But as of now we haven’t seen any formal communication from the telcom department… final decision is being made by the politicians and that is what we are waiting for now,” he added.
Telenor operates in India under a joint venture, Uninor, with India’s Unitech. The joint venture stands to lose all its licences following the Supreme Court’s order cancelling 122 licences issued in 2008.
Following the cancellation of Uninor’s licences, Telenor had said it planned to set up a new company. Both the firms had earlier moved the company law board (CLB) against each other to protect their individual interests.
While Telenor filed the petition to “prevent any wrongful obstruction” to its effort to secure its investments, Unitech filed one to prevent Telenor from assuming full control over the business.
Telenor has invested Rs.6,135 crore through equity and over Rs.8,000 crore in debt through corporate guarantees to build Uninor. It holds over 67 per cent stake in Uninor,
Brekke urged the government to ensure that the deferred payment of spectrum can take place as the firms were having difficulties in bank funding owing to insecurities in the sector.
Telenor has already hinted at its exit from the Indian market if the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendations on the spectrum auction are accepted.
Speaking about its exit plans, Brekke said: “Even if India is an important market for us, we are not here to just plant our logo.”
The regulator has recommended, among other proposals, a reserve price of Rs.3,622 crore for 1 MHz pan-India spectrum, which is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences were allocated in 2008 under then Telecom Minister A. Raja.
- Telenor plans Rs.2,000 crore investment in India - Apr 21, 2012
- Telenor in talks with domestic firms to continue India service - Apr 20, 2012
- Telenor, Unitech move Company Law Board to protect interests (Lead) - Feb 27, 2012
- Fix reserve price at Rs.1,658 crore in 2G auction: Uninor - Feb 10, 2012
- Telenor-Unitech case referred to international arbitration - Apr 12, 2012
- Telenor moves company law board to protect India investment - Feb 27, 2012
- Telenor to form new company for India operations - Feb 21, 2012
- Company Law Board suggests mediation to Telenor, Unitech - Mar 01, 2012
- Unitech opposes Uninor's proposed rights issue - Jul 25, 2012
- 2G re-auction should be among 2008 licencees: Uninor (Lead) - Feb 06, 2012
- 2G auction should be among 2008 licencees: Uninor (Second Lead, superseding earlier story) - Feb 06, 2012
- Uninor to file interim application in Supreme Court - May 01, 2012
- Ask government to conduct 2G auction by June: Uninor to SC - Mar 21, 2012
- Unitech moves company law board against Telenor - Oct 11, 2011
- Uninor moves Delhi High Court against CLB order - Aug 14, 2012
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