Uninor tiff: Unitech files plea against Telenor with CLB

Real estate group Unitech, locked in a battle with Norway's Telenor, its majority partner in the telecom firm Uninor over fund-raising methods, has taken the dispute to the Company Law Board, alleging mismanagement of Uninor. The matter is already being heard by the Supreme Court.

According to a report, Unitech has even offered to buy out Telenor's 67.25-per cent stake in the joint venture for Rs269 crore.

In its petition, Unitech has accused Telenor of obstructing its plans ''to obtain project finance for the company, and pushing a disastrous business plan for the company''.

Differences between the two partners became public after the Uninor board approved a proposal for a Rs8,200 crore rights issue earlier this year. Unitech vehemently opposed the plan and approached the Supreme Court to restrain the company from raising funds via a share issue.

Unitech does not dispute the need to raise funds, but prefers the debt route. Telenor on the other hand says a rights issue is the only option as banks and financial institutions are unwilling to lend to telecom companies.

On 4 October, Telenor Asia Pte had said it valued its Indian telecom venture at Rs28 per share, putting Uninor's value, excluding debt, at Rs400 crore. Telenor had bought its stake in Uninor, earlier called Unitech Wireless, in 2009 in a deal that valued the company at Rs9,100 crore.