Batelco wins as court orders to freeze $74 mn assets of C Sivasankaran

Batelco 4G with Ericsson
A Chennai, India court has ordered to freeze $74 million worth of assets of C Sivasankaran, one of the promoters of S Tel, which had closed down telecom business in 2012, in a case filed by telecom network operator Batelco.

Following the shut-down of the India telecom business, Batelco group company BMIC had earlier approached a UK court seeking penalty from C Sivasankaran and partners.

The orders made by the Madras High Court are intended to pay down a substantial UK judgment that was awarded to BMIC, a subsidiary of Batelco, by the English High Court of Justice totaling $ 212 million in June 2014.

Telecom network operator Batelco Group has obtained Indian freezing orders from the Madras High Court against certain Indian assets of C Sivasankaran and his ex-wife Jayalakshmi Sivasankaran, his father RCK Vallal, his mother C Chandrammal, his associates Baskaran, Nithyavathi Venkatesan and his related company, Siva Limited.

The value of the assets frozen by such orders is estimated to be approximately Rs 500 crore or $74 million.

The UK Judgement was awarded against Siva, following BMIC’s litigation against the defendants. The UK Judgment found that the defendants failed to honor a Settlement Agreement signed with BMIC in November 2011. According to the UK Judgment, Siva should have paid $212 million to BMIC by 26 June 2014. Siva and others have failed to pay such amount to BMIC.

Ihab Hannawi, group CEO of Batelco, said: “We expect all of the respondents to honor the Indian Court Orders and pay to BMIC the monies owing to it under the UK judgment. We will pursue all legal avenues available to us against such parties to secure this outstanding payment.”

BMIC acquired a 42.7 percent stake of S Tel in 2009. Following the cancelation of 2G licenses by Supreme Court in February 2012, BMIC sought to implement an agreed put option. Under certain circumstances, such as the cancelation of its 2G license, or in the event of a failure of Siva to secure financing, would ensure Siva bought back the shares acquired by BMIC at the price paid originally.

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