Telenor Asia Pte Ltd, a Norway-headquartered telecom major, has hiked its stake in Unitech Wireless with a fresh investment of around Rs 1,493 crore. Post this development, Telenor stake has increased to 60.1%, from 49% earlier, said a Unitech filing in the Bombay Stock Exchange.
With this fresh round of funding, Telenor’s total investment in Unitech Wireless stands at Rs 4,113 crore. Telenor has an option to increase its stake further to 74% in the company. In an October 2009 ruling, the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given the green light to Telenor to raise its stake up to the maximum FDI limit of 74% in Unitech Wireless.
Unitech Wireless is a joint venture company of real estate firm Unitech Ltd and Nordic telecom giant Telenor Group. It has launched its India operation across eight circles initially under the brand name Uninor in December last year. The eight circles include Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West and Bihar.
The company has also expressed its intent to bid for select circles in upcoming 3G auctions.
Among the new telecom entrants, Unitech is the only player that has sold out a majority stake to a foreign telco. Other deals involving new telcos include Swan selling 45% stake to Etisalat and S Tel selling 49% to Bahrain Telecom.