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Telenor settles Uninor’s loans worth Rs.9,809 cr

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Lenders turn down Uninor’s request for extension of loans

Telecom operator Uninor, on Monday, said its majority shareholder Telenor had settled all of the company’s loans amounting to Rs.9,809 crore after lenders turned down its request for extension of loans.

Norwegian firm Telenor holds 67.25 per cent stake, and the balance is held by Indian realty company Unitech and its subsidiaries.

Uninor, in a statement, said that “one of its shareholders has repeatedly refused to fund the company through its own funds and has also actively worked to stop the majority shareholder from doing so.’’ It has also sought permission for a rights issue to infuse funds but the Foreign Investment Promotion Board has not approved it yet.

The company further said that “in the absence of a rights offer, Uninor has relied on short-term loans from Indian and international banks that were fully guaranteed by the Telenor Group.’’

“Uninor’s application for an extension of some of these loans has since been turned down and the lending banks have claimed under the guarantees. Consequently, fulfilling its guarantees, the Telenor Group has directly settled all of Uninor’s loans amounting to Rs.9,809 crore with the respective banks,” the statement said.

Default notices

Earlier, Telenor had said that lenders of Uninor had issued default notices to the firm for non-payment of loans, and, as of July 23, Telenor ASA has received guarantee claims of total Norwegian krone (NOK) 3.6 billion (Rs.3,382 crore) and default notice from most of the lenders.

In February, the Supreme Court had ordered cancellation of 122 telecom licences, including 22 held by Uninor, a joint venture between Telenor and Unitech.

Telenor is seeking to scrap the joint venture with Unitech, and plans to migrate its business to a new company. — PTI


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