Hutch-Essar may head towards the courts

Mumbai: Hutchison Telecom International (HTIL) has filed a caveat before the Bombay High Court to ensure that its plea is heard in case Essar moves the court, challenging the foreign partner's decision to sell stake to Vodafone.

Essar, the 33 pc shareholder in the mobile joint venture Hutch-Essar, has been claiming that it has the first right of refusal (RoFR) for HTIL's stake.

HTIL had recently agreed to sell its 67 pc stake in the Indian business to UK's Vodafone, side-stepping Essar.

HTIL's shareholders will on March 9 vote on Vodafone's offer to buyout the Hong Kong company's 67 pc stake for $11.1 billion.

HTIL has said that Essar does not have RoFR in the event of sale to Vodafone, which is also of the same view.

However, Essar thinks otherwise and is believed to have raised the issue when Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin was in India last month.