Telenor names new Indian partner

Michael Carroll
29 Oct 2012

Telenor has found a new partner in India, with which it plans to reestablish its business in the country by bidding in a forthcoming auction of 1800-MHz spectrum.

The firm has partnered with Lakshdeep Investments and Finance through its local subsidiary Telewings Communications. The agreement covers a set equity investment by Lakshdeep, but will leave Telenor as the majority partner, with a 74% stake in the joint venture.

Telenor plans to transfer control of Uninor, its Indian mobile company, into the new joint venture, however it must receive approval for the new business from India’s government first.

Sudhir Valia, who controls Lakshdeep Investments and Finance, told India’s Business Standard there is nothing unusual about the decision to partner with Telenor, noting it is one of several investment opportunities the firm is pursuing.

The deal looks to be confirmation that Telenor will take part in an auction of 1800-MHz spectrum in India. The firm revealed on October 19 that it has submitted an application to participate, but at the time hinted it would only proceed if it could find a new local partner.

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