Telenor gains board approval for Indian mobile unit sale

Telenor gains board approval for Indian mobile unit sale

Telenor has gained approval from board members to auction off its Indian mobile phone joint venture, heightening tensions between the carrier and local partner Unitech.

Unitech owns just under a third of the joint venture unit, with Telenor holding a controlling 67.25% stake.

The Norwegian operator is seeking to scrap the company after its licences were revoked by the Supreme Court, following the February 2008 spectrum auction scandal that has plagued Indian telecoms.

Telenor is now seeking fresh operating licences in the country, but Unitech argues the company cannot just scrap the partnership agreement and it has the right to veto any asset sales.

Uninor, the operating brand, has declared it is seeking bidders to express any interest in acquiring the company by August 6 in an auction notice, according to local reports.

According to Reuters, the company is planning to fix the bid price at a market value of 41.9 billion rupees.

A Unitech spokesman said the company would take legal action against any proposed auction.

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