Norway-headquartered telecom major Telenor will now get a 67.25% stake in Unitech Wireless as against the earlier agreed 60% stake. In October this year Telenor announced its deal to buy a 60% stake in Unitech for Rs 6,120 crore. The additional stake is being picked up for the same price. Telenor has said in its statement :
"While Telenor's initial investment under the agreement will continue to be the previously agreed INR 61.2 billion (approx. USD 1.2 billion), it has been agreed that Telenor, after this investment, would be holding 67.25% in Unitech Wireless."
The company will pick up a 33.5% stake for Rs 1,260 crore in the first stage of the transaction. The deal will be completed in four stages. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals, however, a statement from Telenor said that the closing formalities have been finalised.
Telenor is the world’s seventh largest telecom firm by customers and Norway government owns a 54% stake in the firm.
The deal, which was expected to be completed in December, got delayed as Telenor took time to arrange funds. Telenor was initially planning a rights issue to fund the deal which it later scrapped. It is funding the deal through a combination of cash flow and additional debt.
Unitech Telenor last month entered into a tower sharing agreement with Tata-Quippo combine. Unitech Wireless has licences to operate in all 22 telecom circles.
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. Datacom is yet to decide on a foreign partner.