NORWEGIAN telecom group Telenor said on Friday (October 26) it had found a new local partner thereby saving its embattled expansion into India.
Earlier this month Telenor settled a bitter dispute with former partner Unitech, after their jointly owned company’s licences were cancelled by a court.
Telenor will now team-up with Lakshdeep Investments & Finance owned by businessman Sudhir Valia, in a move that allows Telenor to stay in India and bid in upcoming frequency auctions.
“Upon successful participation in the upcoming spectrum auctions and post all required government approvals, Telenor Group will eventually own 74 per cent of the joint venture,” Telenor said in a statement.
Regulations demand foreign companies join up with local partners in order to legally operate and invest in India.
The settlement between Telenor and Unitech ended a battle sparked with the cancellation by the Indian Supreme Court of 122 telecom licences over allegations of corruption.
Telenor opposed the court decision, arguing that the licences had been awarded soon after it had formed its Unitech partnership, and that it therefore could not be responsible for any alleged wrongdoing that took place before then.
Telenor had faced the prospect of losing its total Indian investment cost of $3bn (£)
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