After several meetings where a decision on Telenors proposed Rs. 3740 crore investment in Unitech Wireless was deferred, India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board has referred the decision to India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
The reason for referring the decision to the CCEA: because the investment involved is above Rs. 600 crores. That’s a decision that could have been taken a few months ago as well. The issue for Telenor is its investments in telecom in Pakistan and Bangladesh, countries with which India often has national security related complaints.
In a statement, Unitech Wireless has said that they “continue to receive invaluable support from the Government and are optimistic of a favourable outcome that allows the Telenor Group to raise its holding in Unitech Wireless to 67.25% as per the current agreement with an option to increase this to 74%.”
Telenor currently owns 49 percent in Unitech Wireless, and had planned to roll out services in 5 circles by Q4. Telenor expects Unitech Wireless to contribute to a marginal increase in revenues, an EBITDA loss in the range of NOK 1.5–2.0 billion and capital expenditure in the range of NOK 3.5–4.5 billion for 2009.
— FIPB Roundup: Unitech Wireless Deferred Again; Verdant, UTV, ZEEL, Dish TV, BenQ
— Q2-09 Call: Unitech Wireless Plans 5 Circle Launch In Q4; Competition, Timing, Free Minutes
— Telenor Recruiting For India Launch, Expecting NOK 2-2.5B EBITDA Loss