Telecom company Uninor, which is enduring a dispute between Norway’s Telenor and Unitech, on Tuesday, said it was looking at a boardroom solution to resolve the matter along with the legal battle.
“There are two ongoing processes. One is legal... and another one is the discussion we are having in the boardroom. We are trying to find a solution,” Uninor Managing Director Sigve Brekke told reporters when asked how the separation would take place without mutual consensus on valuations.
“We are having constructive dialogue in the boardroom,” he added.
The row between the partners intensified when Uninor, which is controlled by Telenor, decided to put on auction its entire telecom business for a minimum of Rs.4,000 crore, a move opposed strongly by Unitech.
Mr. Brekke, however, declined to term the ‘boardroom solution’ as an attempt for out-of-court settlement of allowing the company to get auctioned.
Asked if the company has the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) approval for the auction, Mr. Brekke said: “DoT’s approval will be required post-auction for actual transfer of assets. It’s not required for carrying out the auction.’’
He added that Telenor had already expressed its interest to participate in the auction.
“We have handful of offers for potential strategic partner for the new company and they are agreed to the terms of 26 per cent stake and not involvement in the business,” Mr. Brekke said in reply to a question.
Telenor planned to scale its stake in Uninor by up to 74 per cent, he added. However, he said the new partner had not yet been finalised.
Mr. Brekke said Telenor wanted to start fresh and three processes remained prior to that. They were separation with the existing partner, identifying new partner and transfer of assets to the new company.
Asked to comment on the floor price of the upcoming spectrum auction, he said the company was waiting for the Information Memorandum (IM) of auction, which was likely to be released on August 27 and would comment only after that.
He also said that despite Telenor being keen to remain a long-term investor in the Indian market, the actual decision to participate in the auction of spectrum would depend on whether the auction details fit into their business.
Uninor had also targeted to break-even next year but Mr. Brekke said the management had not yet decided whether to continue with Uninor brand under the new company management.