Batelco Millenium India Company (BMIC), a fully owned subsidiary of Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco), has filed a claim against Siva Limited, its former Indian partner in the joint venture S Tel, and the owner Chinnakannan Sivasankaran in the commercial court sub-division of the UK High Court.

The company stated that this claim was filed in order to recover an amount of $184.79 million and enforce a settlement agreement with the company.

Batelco stated that it had previously inked a settlement agreement with Siva Limited on November 30, 2011, to settle a dispute regarding the company’s involvement in its joint venture S Tel. However, the company claimed that Siva Limited has failed to comply to this agreement, following which it had filed this case.

Batelco in India

In January 2009, Batelco and Millenium Private Equity, a Dubai Financial Services Authority regulated entity, had formed a special purpose vehicle Batelco Millennium India Company to acquire 49% stake in Chennai based S Tel for $225 Million. Of this, Batelco had invested $175 million in S Tel for a 42.7% stake while Millenium PE had invested $50 million for a 6.3% stake.

A few months later, C Sivasankaran of Sterling Infotech Group had apparently picked up 51% stake in S Tel in a deal valued at Rs 11.5 billion while an Investment bank GB Corp had partnered with the Batelco group to pick up 11% stake from shareholders Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) and Millenium India Company in January 2010.

S Tel had secured 2G licenses in six circles including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, and the North-East and had launched its GSM service in December 2009. However, its licenses were revoked as part of the Supreme Court judgement which had revoked 122 licenses across 22 operators in February 2012.

Following this judgement, Bahrain Telecom had exited the venture by selling out its entire 42.7% stake in S Tel to Sky City Foundation Ltd for $175 million.