Telenor Group today issued a notice to its Indian strategic partner Unitech Limited, that it will seek indemnity and compensation following the cancellation of Uninor's 22 licenses by the Supreme Court of India.
The Supreme Court of India on February 2 passed an order to revoke 122 licenses issued to all operators on and from January 10, 2008. This included all licenses issued to Uninor. The Supreme Court decision refers to actions that happened prior to Telenor Group’s entrance into India.
Telenor Group holds Unitech Ltd. liable for the breach of warranties related to the cancellation of the licenses – seeking compensation for all investment, guarantees and damages caused by the Supreme Court Order. Telenor Group also makes an indemnity claim against Unitech for the failure to obtain spectrum in the strategically critical Delhi circle.
Cancellation is a clear breach of Unitech’s warranties
“The legality and validity of the licenses was a fundamental term of the share subscription agreement between Telenor Group and Unitech Limited. We believe that the Supreme Court’s cancellation of the Unified Access Service Licenses (UASL) conclusively demonstrates a clear breach of Unitech’s warranties,” said Pål Wien Espen, Group General Counsel, Telenor Group.
In the share subscription agreement between the partners, Unitech Ltd. has irrevocably and unconditionally agreed to indemnify and hold harmless the Telenor Group from all damages which may be suffered as a result of breach of any of the agreed warranties.
“The fact is that Uninor as a consequence of the judgment will no longer hold any UASLs. Telenor will therefore exercise its entitled right under the share subscription agreement to hold Unitech Ltd. liable to indemnify and compensate Telenor Group for its investment in India,” said Pål Wien Espen.
Telenor Group starts looking for new partner
Telenor Group will consider every option available to secure the continued successful development of its mobile services in the country. It is Telenor Group’s position that the strategic partnership with Unitech Limited does not have a future, and it therefore will start the process of looking for a new Indian partner.
Telenor Group has invested INR 61 billion (NOK 8.9 billion) for 67.25 percent ownership in Uninor, and additionally is also fully guaranteeing for INR 80 billion (NOK 8.1 billion) of short-term debt.
Pål Kvalheim, Senior Vice President, Head of Group Communications
Mobile: +47970 44 970
Tor Odland, Vice President, Group Communications
Mobile: +47 9909 0872,
Glenn Mandelid, Communication Director, Telenor Asia