Norway-based Telenor on Friday announced that it will bid in the forthcoming auction for 2G spectrum with a new partner linked to billionaire Dilip Shanghvi-led Sun Pharma.
Telenor, which broke off with Unitech after a bitter wrangle linked to spectrum auctions hit by a corruption scandal, said its new investor was Lakshdeep Investments & Finance Pvt Ltd, controlled by Sudhir Valia.Valia is the brother-in-law of Shanghvi, promoter of Sun Pharma. He is executive director with Sun Pharma. Shanghvi is the chairman and managing director of Sun Pharma.
Lakshdeep will contribute an agreed amount of equity into Telenor's Indian entity Telewings Communications Pvt Ltd. The two companies did not disclose how much will Lakshdweep invest in the company.
"Upon successful participation in the upcoming spectrum auctions and post all required government approvals, Telenor group will eventually own 74% of the joint venture," said an official spokesperson of Telenor.
The differences between them escalated after February 2, when the Supreme Court cancelled all the 122 licences issued during the regime of former communications minister A Raja as these were issued on a first-come-first-served basis in violation of proper procedures.
These included 22 licences of Uninor, a joint venture between Telenor and Unitech.
"Telenor Group will maintain operational control and upon necessary approvals all assets of Unitech Wireless (Uninor) will be transferred to this company for seamless continuity of operations," said a Telenor statement.
Telewings has already applied for prequalification to participate in the spectrum auction.
"A final decision on whether to participate or not will be made before the auction starts," said the statement.