Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco) is looking to re-enter India through a telco acquisition, reports The National.
Batelco CEO Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa stated to the publication that the company is not interested in participating in the upcoming 2G auctions to secure licenses and set up a new joint venture in the country. However, it is planning to enter the country by investing in existing telcos.
Batelco in India
Batelco had previously formed a special purpose vehicle with Dubai based Millennium Private Equity to acquire 49% stake in S Tel for $225 million in 2009, wherein the company had invested $175 million with the rest being invested by the PE firm.
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 a Supreme Court judgement which had revoked 122 licenses across 22 operators in February 2012. Following this judgement, Batelco had exited the venture by selling out its entire 42.7% stake in S Tel to Sky City Foundation Ltd for $175 million.
The company had also 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 in November 2012, to recover an amount of $184.79 million and enforce a settlement agreement with the company.
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