Unitech Group on Friday said it will consider appropriate legal actions against Telenor Group's move to approach foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) for setting up a new company in India for its telecom business, as it is the violation of a non-compete clause in the shareholders’ agreement entered between the two companies.
“The recent FIPB application filed by Telenor Group is breach of non-compete clause in the shareholders’ agreement in continuation of oppression of the minority shareholders and we will consider appropriate action under the law to safeguard our rights and interest,” Unitech said in a statement. Adding: “A copy of the shareholders agreement is already with FIPB.”
Unitech further said, “We are not surprised with the current move of Telenor Group, considering their continuous disregard to the laws of this country and contractual obligations as well as other shareholders’ disputes across the world.”
Telenor has also started the process of securing a new Indian partner.
However, both the firms are also fighting against each other in the Company Law Board to protect their investments and rights. Both the firms have been on loggerheads since the Telenor’s proposal of going for a rights issue to raise the funds. Unitech, while opposing the proposal, had also gone to the court over this. Unitech was insisting on debt funding for raising funds.
Unitech had also earlier moved the CLB complaining against Telenor for mismanagement of operations. The companies are also facing arbitration in a Singapore Court.
Telenor had signed the JV with Unitech in 2009 and currently holds 67.25 per cent stake and offers services under Uninor brand in 13 circles. Having about 40 million customers andw ith an employee base of over 17,500, it has already invested around Rs 6,135 crore through equity, and more than Rs 8,000 crore in debt.