Buy Telenor stake or opt out of JV, CLB tells Unitech

The Company Law Board (CLB) on Tuesday gave real estate firm Unitech the option to either buy its partner Telenor's 67-per cent stake in telecom company Uninor or sell its 33-per cent stake to the Norwegian telecom firm; but it has to decide one way or another by 19 March, or Monday next week.

"You (Unitech) are given priority - whether you want to buy or sell (a stake), you have to decide," CLB chairman Justice B R Deshmukh told Unitech. ''I see no other solution,'' he added, observing that there is hostility between the two joint venture partners.

Counsel representing Unitech sought time for discussing the matter with the company management.

CLB, a quasi-judiciary body that rules on corporate matters, asked Unitech to inform its decision by 10.30 hours on 19 March, the next date for hearing.

The CLB had earlier asked the warring partners to mediate to resolve their differences but the companies did not opt for that route.

The counsel appearing for Unitech suggested that there could be other solutions, like a third-party buying out the stakes of both companies in Uninor.