New Delhi, Aug. 3: The Company Law Board (CLB) today stayed Norwegian firm Telenor’s proposal to auction the assets of Uninor, its telecom joint venture with India’s Unitech.
Uninor had set a minimum price of Rs 4,000 crore for the business, and Telenor would pay Rs 4,190 crore if no other bidder showed interest by August 6. Unitech is the minority partner in the joint venture, while Telenor owns a 67 per cent stake.
The CLB observed that the manner in which the auction process was being carried out was “very clever”, before directing Uninor and other respondents to file their replies by Monday. It has listed the next hearing on August 8.
CLB chairman Justice D. R. Deshmukh stayed the August 1 auction notice issued by Uninor and said the board would hear both the parties. The board also said the terms and conditions set in the auction notice appeared to be “tough”.
Referring to the stay as “unfortunate”, Uninor said in a statement, “When Uninor faces a certain destruction of value when the licences will be cancelled, the only chance its employees have for sustained employment and for the customers to continue is being blocked by the minority shareholder.”
Uninor plans to “pursue every legal measure available to it in the Indian courts to secure the interest of the company’s creditors, customers and employees”.