The founders and large shareholders of Indian telecom companies can not sell their equity during the first three years of their licence, the government said, after a raft of stake sales by some new telecom licensees to foreign firms last year.
“There shall be a lock-in-period for sale of equity of a person whose share capital is 10 percent or more,” the government said in a statement.
Companies can, however, sell new shares by way of private placement or public issues during the period, it said.
Foreign telecoms firms such as Telenor and Etisalat last year bought stakes in India’s nascent licensees at many times the price the firms had paid to acquire the permit.
This had prompted the telecoms regulator to recommend a three-year lock in for founder’s equity and any sale within that period needed government approval.