Even as telecom firm Hutchison-Essar on Thursday offered to pay the remaining Rs 1,670 crore to complete the BPL Mobile (Mumbai) merger deal, its Indian partner Essar said DoT's nod was a pre-requisite for completing the deal.
This was stated by the counsels of Hutch and Essar, who have been at loggerheads over the merger of BPL Mobile's Mumbai circle with their telecom joint venture, at the Bombay High Court.
At the hearing of an arbitration petition filed by Hutch, seeking to restrain Essar from selling BPL stake to any third party, Hutchison-Essar said it would acquire Department of Telecom's approval once the deal is completed and offered to pay remaining Rs 1,670 crore to the other side for completing the financial transactions.
Hutchison-Essar had earlier paid Rs 1,600 crore to Indian partner Essar as part payment for acquiring 100 per cent stake of BPL. Subsequent to termination of the deal, Essar has offered to return the money within five days.
"The DoT approval is essential as per the share purchase agreement. However, as we (Hutch) have applied for the same and expect to receive it at a later stage, the termination notice served by the respondent (Essar) may hamper our case for getting this regulatory approval," Hutch lawyer Iqbal Chagla submitted in the court, where the case is under way.
However, Essar counsel Janak Dwarkadas asserted that DoT approval was mandatory for completion of intra-circle license acquisition and as Hutch had failed to comply within the stipulated timeframe, either party had the right to terminate the contract.