2G Spectrum Impact: Telenor to separate from Unitech

By Telecom Lead Team: Recent Supreme Court order on 2G spectrum scam has caused another major casualty. Norwegian telecom company Telenor has
sought to separate its Indian mobile venture Uninor from its tainted partner


Uninor was one of the worst affected by the Supreme
Court’s rule earlier this year that scrapped 122 mobile licensed issued under
the Raja regime. Unitech held 22 of these licenses.


Earlier Telecom Lead reported that Telenor is planning a
diplomatic and legal measure to secure its investments in India.


Uninor 2G spectrum: It is Norway v/s India government

The Norwegian government owns nearly 54 percent stake in
Telenor, which holds a 67 percent stake in Unitech Wireless.


Now Telenor is also readying with an aggressive bidding
plan to bag licenses in a fresh auction. The company is now looking for a new
Indian partner as it finds no future in the relationship with Unitech. There is
a rumor that Telenor has plans to invest in Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure,
which runs mobile tower company Viom Networks. Another name doing the
rounds is Sterlite Industries, the Indian arm of Vedanta Resources.


Unitech responded to Telenor’s reaction saying it would
take the Norwegian telco to court.


We reserve our right to take appropriate legal action
against Telenor for damages caused to Unitech Group from breach of the
confidentiality obligation by Telenor,” a company spokesperson said.


The bitterness in the relationship started in 2011 when
Unitech refused to participate in Uninor’s 8,200-crore rights issue in 2011. Following
the arrest of Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra, the relationship got worse.
Meanwhile Unitech filed case against Telenor citing gross mismanagement of
their joint venture.”

With the Supreme Court order now pointing the finger at
Unitech, Telenor has more say. According to official statement from Telenor,
“legality and validity of the licenses was a fundamental term of the share
subscription agreement” between it and Unitech and the Supreme Court’s
cancellation of the licenses was a “breach of Unitech’s


Earlier Telenor also said that it has decided to write
down NOK 4.2 billion ($721.33 million) related to licenses and goodwill in
India following the Supreme Court’s decision to cancel Uninor’s 22 licenses



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