Telenor finalizes India joint venture partner
Telecom Lead India: Telenor has finalized its India joint venture partner.
The Norwegian mobile giant on Friday said Lakshdeep Investments & Finance will be its new partner to bid jointly for new mobile telephone licenses.
Lakshdeep replaces Unitech as Telenor’s Indian partner after authorities cancelled their Uninor venture’s licenses granted in a corruption-tainted 2008 licensing round.
Lakshdeep, a company controlled by Sudhir Valia, will contribute an undisclosed amount of equity into the new Telewings joint venture, in which Telenor will hold a 74 percent stake.
Telenor has already submitted an application for prequalification in the upcoming auction as it aims to stay in the country despite being stripped of its permits.
The Supreme Court cancelled 122 regional operating permits held by eight carriers earlier this year, forcing operators to reapply for their permits.
According to a recent news report in TelecomLead.com, Uninor, the Indian subsidiary of Telenor, has posted 3.1 percent increase in third quarter revenues to 863 million Norwegian crowns from 837 million Norwegian crowns in the same quarter last year. This is despite Uninor reducing its telecom business significantly in India following the spectrum controversies.
Telenor is already cutting down its resources. Telenor is planning to slash 2,000 jobs in Indian telecom market. This is part of a cost-cutting drive. Telenor will reallocate resources to more profitable regions in India and brought forward by a year and a half the break-even point for a unit that has never turned a profit.