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I-T department seizes Unitech Group companies' shares news
28 March 2012

The income tax department has seized shares of Unitech Group companies, through which the realty firm holds stake in telecom operator Unitech Wireless, but the move is unlikely to impact its operations.

''We can confirm that Uninor is in receipt of notices from the Income Tax Department stating that the shares owned by Unitech Ltd, through their companies Acorus, Cestos and Simpson, in our company have been attached," Uninor said in a statement.

"In case of our two group companies, the tax department has issued a demand order based on the 'presumptive gains' on their shareholding in Unitech Wireless, without there being any actual sale of shares by these companies and consequent profit to them," it said.

The group firms have challenged the IT department's order before commissioner of income tax (Appeal), stating that the demand made was based on the "presumptive gains" on their shareholding.

Unitech holds a 32.75-per cent stake in Uninor, while the remaining 67.25 per cent is held by Norway's Telenor, which had acquired the stake for $1.2 billion in February 2010, after initially taking a 49 per cent stake in May 2009 (See: Telenor raises stake in Unitech JV to 67.5 per cent).

"Since the matter is sub-judice, we cannot provide further comments except that the management of these companies is confident that such baseless tax demand will be set aside by the concerned authorities," Unitech added.

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I-T department seizes Unitech Group companies' shares