Qualcomm offloads 26% in India unit

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 1 2010, 05:14am hrs
US-based CDMA chip maker Qualcomm on Friday offloaded 26% stake in its broadband unit in India for Rs 268 crore. Global Holdings, which owns telecoms infrastructure firms GTL Ltd and GTL Infra, and communications services provider Tulip Telecom will buy 13% each in the newly formed Qualcomm's broadband unit in India. The move is in line with the regulatory norms which cap FDI in the telecom sector at 74%.

The enterprise value is $1.11 billion, the equity portion is $222 million and $888 million debt. Tulip and Global Holdings have (jointly) taken 26% stake for $28.86 million each, Qualcomm India & South Asia president Kanwalinder Singh said.

The US-based chip maker had acquired broadband wireless access spectrum in four circles including Delhi and Mumbai for close to $1 billion in a recently concluded auction. It also won 20 Mhz spectrum in Kerala and Haryana.

The company is betting that ownership of the airwaves in India will boost sales of advanced cell phones and the chips that power them.

Qualcomm's equity investment for 74% stake in the broadband unit will be $164.3 million, the company said. Qualcomm expects to get broadband spectrum in two to three months time and aims to launch broadband services in 2011 Singh said. With this, Qualcomm is the only BWA operator to have announced its commercial launch so far. Qualcomm previously won spectrum bids in the United States and Britain. The government auctioned two blocks of 20 Mhz of broadband wireless access spectrum across the country in May. Infotel broadband was the only company which emerged as the pan-India winner of BWA spectrum.