Telenor asks Citi to find Indian partner

Telenor asks Citi to find Indian partner

Norwegian carrier Telenor has reportedly asked Citi Group Markets India to find an Indian partner to replace Unitech.

The mandate was given to Citi to negotiate and shortlist a partner a few weeks ago, according to the Mint newspaper.

Once the partner is selected, the subscribers of Telenor’s Indian joint venture, Uninor, will be transferred to the new entity.

Telenor is seeking a minority partner, allowing it to control 74% of a local venture, as it attempts to separate its JV, Uninor, from Unitech.

The carrier blamed Unitech for the loss of Uninor’s Indian 2G licences, after India’s Supreme Court ruled in February that a 2008 spectrum auction was “totally arbitrary and unconstitutional” and cancelled 122 licences.

The two are now engaged in a dispute which has been taken to the Company Law Board and the Delhi High Court.

Speculation last week suggested that Tata Teleservices was being considered as a partner but no confirmation of interest was given by either side.

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