26 Mar 2012

Telenor Searching For New Telecom Partner In India

Uninor is a joint venture partnership between Norwegian Telenor and real estate company Unitech. It has been witnessing many ups and downs in the recent past and is trying its level best to get the best out of this situation.

Telenor is now planning to make a new beginning in India by entering into a joint venture or other association with a new partner in India. Telenor has already short listed some potential companies and partners in this regard and is in the process of finalisation of the same.

Telenor is also in the process of starting a new company in India and it has already filed a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) application. The strategy of Telenor in this regard is very simple. It would first find a solution with the current partner Unitech and would then find a suitable new partner.

Telenor is planning to sort out all differences and problems before applying for the new licence. Once that is done a new partner would be inducted and assets from the Uninor would be transferred to the newly formulated company.

Meanwhile Unitech has approached the Company Law Board (CLB) seeking arbitration in the dispute. But Telenor has been planning to oppose this move of Unitech on Monday (26-03-2012). It also means that Telenor has rejected Unitech's proposal for payment of about $150 million to Unitech to exit the JV and sell its 32.7% stake in Uninor to Telenor.

Unitech had made this proposal after the Company Law Board had asked it to decide by March 19 if it wanted to buy out the 67.25% stake held by Norway's Telenor or exit their joint venture. However, Telenor and Unitech have failed to reach at a consensus in this regard so far.

Last month, Telenor's CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas had declared that Telenor was not interested in buying out the minority stake held by Unitech and wanted to make a fresh start with a new partner.