Telenor aims to dump Unitech

Telenor, Europe's third biggest telecom company intends to severe ties with real estate firm Unitech, its joint venture partner in the mobile operator Uninor, and has issued notice to its Indian partner seeking indemnity and compensation.

The notice set the stage for a fresh legal battle, with the Indian firm mulling counter action as it was "surprised" by the demand for compensation.

The war between Indian mobile operators and their foreign joint venture partners has intensified after the Supreme Court judgement earlier this month, cancelling 122 telecom licenses issued under a scandal-tainted 2008 sale process (See: SC cancels all 2G licences, orders fresh spectrum auction).

"Telenor Group holds Unitech liable for the breach of warranties related to the cancellation of the licenses - seeking compensation for all investment, guarantees and damages caused by the Supreme Court order," the firm said in a statement on late Wednesday.

"It is Telenor Group's position that the strategic partnership with Unitech does not have a future, and it therefore will start the process of looking for a new Indian partner," it said, adding, the company is also seeking a new partner in the country.

Uninor, jointly owned by Telenor and Unitech was one of the worst affected by the Supreme Court's decision. The company, 67.25 per cent owned by Telenor, held 22 licenses in the country.