Telenor gets nod to up stake in Unitech to 74%



Telenor gets nod to up stake in Unitech to 74% New Delhi: The government on Monday approved Norwegian telecom firm Telenor's proposal to raise stake in its Indian joint venture Unitech Wireless to 74 percent, the maximum permitted in the sector.

The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs gave its nod to Unitech Wireless Tamil Nadu Pvt Ltd for enhancing foreign shareholding by Telenor Asia (Singapore) Ltd up to 74 percent, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told reporters. Telenor would for now pump in an FDI of Rs 3,740 crore for raising the stake to 67.25 percent from the present 49 percent.

Telenor had in August this year obtained Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval to enhance stake to 74 percent. All foreign investments over USD 600 million (over Rs 2,800 crore) are to be approved by the CCEA.

Telenor had paid Rs 1,250 crore in March and Rs 1,130 crore in May for acquiring 49 percent equity in the joint venture and it had agreement to scale it up to 67.25 percent at a total investment of Rs 6,120 crore.

With the CCEA approval in place, it will complete acquisition of remaining equity by year-end in two additional trenches.

The company plans to start services in December under Uninor brand in eight circles -- four in south and one each in UP (East-West), Orissa and Bihar.

Bureau Report