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Tikona Gets FIPB Nod To Raise Rs 248 Cr Investment

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Broadband service provider Tikona Digital Networks has received (pdf) an approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to raise Rs 248 crore through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

The company says it plans to use this investment to increase the foreign equity stake in the company up to 72.58% by issuing compulsorily convertible debentures (CCDs) and equity shares to the existing NRI investors on a rights basis in the company. Tikona currently has investors like Goldman Sachs, Oak Investment Partners and Everstone Capital Advisors, who own 71% stake in the company.

Last August, a source-based ET report had suggested that Google Capital was in talks to pick up a stake in the company. Tikona founder CEO & MD Prakash Bajpai had declined to comment on this deal to the publication while Google had declined to comment terming it as a speculation. We however had found this development quite bizarre since Google Capital typically invests in Internet companies which is adjacent to Google’s business.

Founded in 2009, Tikona offers wireless broadband services to home consumers and small enterprises (through the acquisition of HCL Infinet). It is currently operational in 25 Indian cities after winding down services in 13 cities in December 2012. Last April, Tikona had partnered Delhi Transport Corporation to launch a Wi-Fi network at the Maharana Pratap Inter-State bus terminus (ISBT), through which it was offering Wi-Fi connectivity to all commuters with first 30 minutes being free.

BWA Licenses: Tikona had also paid Rs 1,058 crore in the 2010 BWA auction to secure 4G licenses in five circles (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh-East, Uttar Pradesh-West and Himachal Pradesh) and was also reportedly looking to raise Rs 1,100 crore to buy 4G network gear, for which it had apparently floated a request for proposals (RFP), inviting bids for 4G equipment.

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Tikona CMO Heramb Ranade had told in an interview to Light Reading India in December 2012, that they plan to launch 4G services in the country by early 2014 and Bajpai had told ET that they plan to offer this service at a price point of 2-5 paise per MB. More when we have it.

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