Real estate firm Unitech, the Indian joint venture partner in telecom operator Uninor Wireless, has approached the Company Law Board (CLB) seeking a restraining order on the possible auctioning or sale in the joint venture firm.
The move follows Norway’s Telenor, the foreign partner in Uninor Wireless, planning to sell off it stake in the business, after it received approvals from the majority of the board members. It also invited bids from companies with a base price of Rs 4,000 crore.
Unitech, which is opposing the sell off, was mulling of a legal recourse. On Thursday, Unitech filed a petition with the CLB, asking it to pass an order restraining a possible auctioning or any other sale or transfer of assets of Unitech Wireless, its telecom joint venture with Norwegian giant Telenor. Unitech is the minority partner in the joint venture, with the majority of about 67.5 percent stake held by Telenor.
“Transfer by way of auction is only a feeble attempt to malafidely colour the process of transfer of assets of Uninor as fair (though the fact remains that it is unfair, malafide and oppressive),” Unitech said, adding a DoT approval is needed for the sales for the process.The Indian company also challenged the board’s decision to auction the company with the brand name, ‘Uninor’, which is a collation of two brands — Unitech and Telenor.
“Simply because Telenor does not want to partner with Unitech cannot be a reason for Unitech to allow the brand name to be sold away,” Unitech said.
The decision to go ahead with the auction is “premature”, until the rules of the fresh licensing processes are finalised by the government, Unitech said. “It is not feasible at all and comes with a fait accompli, namely that there will be no participant other than Telenor.”