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Uninor Self-Auction Plans Hampered by Legal Wrangling

Uninor, the Indian joint venture of the Norwegian operator Telenor and Indian real estate firm Unitech confirmed that it will auction its assets in anticipation of shutting its operations on the 7th of September.  The move is opposed by Unitech and legal wrangling seems set to delay any sale of assets.

Uninor lost its licenses when 122 licenses to the spectrum were revoked by the Indian Supreme Court to be re-auctioned. Telenor wants to dissolve its partnership with Unitech and bid on Indian licenses with a new entity following the disappointment of the old sale. A reserve price in the auction had been set at INR40 billion (US$909 million).

Unitech approached the Company Law Board, a quasi-judicial legal body, on the Thursday and an order staying the sale was issued by the Board. Today, the High Court in Delhi modified the order to allow Uninor to accept expressions of interest from potential buyers following an appeal by Uninor.

Unitech object that Telenor are not respecting their rights as a minority stakeholder in Uninor. Their allegations stem from Telenor’s controlling stake in Uninor and the contention that the only party to have shown interest in Uninor is currently also under the direct control of Telenor.

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