labels: Telecom
Unitech sells 60 per cent telecom stake to Telenor for $1.2 billion news
29 October 2008

Real estate major Unitech has sold 60 per cent stake in its telecom venture for Rs6,120 crore ($1.2 billion) to Norwegian telecom operator Telenor. Unitech will hold the remaining 40 per cent stake in the telecom business.

Unitech concluded the deal, which values its telecom business at Rs11,620 crore ($2.35 billion), through a rights issue of shares to its telecom business partner.

Telenor would subscribe to fresh equity shares under the deal, which would also see the debt of Rs2,000 crore transfered from Unitech to the telecom venture Unitech Wireless.

The board of Unitech Wireless would also be restructured with four members from Telenor and three from Unitech. The chairman would be from Unitech, while Telenor will appoint the managing director of the company.

Unitech, which acquired a pan-India mobile telecom licence for Rs1,651 crore early this year,  has GSM spectrum in 22 circles, had drawn up plans to launch services in the first half of 2009.

''This is a landmark deal. At a time when lot of foreign exchange is outflowing, this deal will bring in much needed foreign exchange into the country,'' Unitech's telecom venture chairman Sanjay Chandra said.

Telenor, with mobile operations in 12 countries with 160 million subscribers, is already the second-largest foreign operator in Asia after Vodafone.

Telenor, the world's seventh largest mobile operator, has operations in Europe and Asian countries, including 100 per cent subsidiary in Pakistan.

Chandra said the approval for sale of 49 per cent stake has already been received and the company would soon approach FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) for the sale of its 60 per cent stake.

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Unitech sells 60 per cent telecom stake to Telenor for $1.2 billion