Telenor to acquire 100 pc stake in Uninor

Norwegian telecom firm Telenor today said it will take complete ownership of its Indian unit Uninor by acquiring the 26 per cent stake held by Lakshdeep Investments for Rs 780 crore.

The company, which currently owns 74 per cent stake in Uninior, has filed an application with FIPB seeking to raise its ownership to 100 per cent.

"An application has been filed with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of the Government of India, seeking approval for an additional investment of Rs 780 crore to raise ownership in Uninor to 100 per cent," Telenor said in a statement.

It added that the investments will be utilised to acquire the remaining stake held by Lakshdeep Investments as a financial investor.

Telenor said its Indian unit had participated in two separate spectrum auctions to acquire radiowaves in the range of 5Mhz to 7.2 Mhz in seven circles that together represent more than half of India’s population.

"This year, Uninor has announced an additional investment of Rs 500 crore towards expansion of its network and distribution infrastructure by 30 per cent," the statement said.

Uninor, which has over 30 million customers, currently offers services in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP East and UP West and is planning to launch services Assam this year.

"Uninor has now emerged as the 4th largest mobile operator by both customer and revenues share in its best circles," the statement added.

The company had reported an operating profit of about Rs 1,531 crore for the January-March quarter because of one-time accounting adjustment of Rs 1,660 crore related to licence fees.

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