Telenor's Indian arm Uninor has confirmed today that it will auction its assets ahead of a 7 September deadline to shut its operations – despite the move being strongly opposed by its local Indian partner.
Uninor’s licences were among the 122 revoked by the Indian Supreme Court in February; Telenor now wants to wind down the venture in time to bid as a new entity in the forthcoming re-auction of the cancelled spectrum.
Telenor owns 67.25 percent of Uninor, while partner Unitech holds the remainder. The two firms have been at loggerheads for some time.
According to a Financial Express report, Uninor said in a statement that the auction of its assets will allow the company to generate the maximum possible returns for its creditors and secure the future of Uninor's customers, employees and business partners in the hands of new ownership.
However, Unitech blasted the move “illegal.”
“Unitech has dissented and vetoed on Uninor's proposal to auction assets. The auction notice of Uninor can best be termed as illegal,” a Unitech spokesperson said, hinting that it would resort to legal action if Uninor went ahead with the plan.
Uninor has published newspaper advertisements calling for potential bidders to express their interest by 6 August.
The notice says that a reserve price in the auction has been set at INR40 billion (US$909 million) “based on an independent valuation carried out by the company (Uninor) through two independent valuers, Deloitte and KPMG.”