Unitech moves court to stop Telenor from forging another telecom JV

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 31 2012, 06:34am hrs
Realty firm Unitech has moved a district court in Gurgaon, seeking an injunction against its Norwegian partner Telenor's plan to transfer JV Uninor's assets to a new entity.

The petition filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act also seeks to restrain Telenor's possible entry into telecom business in direct competition with Uninor.

"We confirm that Unitech has moved an arbitration application... restraining Telenor from participating in any manner or being financially interested, in any other project, which competes with the business of Uninor," Unitech said in a statement.

It added that "Unitech has further sought injunction against the transfer of business (of Uninor) by Telenor to a new entity".

Unitech, which holds a 32.75% stake in Uninor, prayed for restraining Telenor from "acting in contravention" of the shareholders agreement.

Telenor holds a 67.25% stake in Uninor, whose telecom licences were among the 122 cancelled by Supreme Court last month. Following the cancellation of licences, Telenor accused Unitech of breach of warranties and sought damages. The estranged partners have already moved Company Law Board, seeking resolution of pending issues.

Telenor has also approached the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for seeking approval to bring in a new partner for the telecom business. It has plans to bid for 2G spectrum with a new domestic partner when the government starts its auction. No comments could immediately be obtained from Telenor on the development.

In the petition, Unitech cited its shareholders agreement with Telenor to say that both companies had agreed "not (to) directly or indirectly commence any business in India, which competed either directly or indirectly with the business of the licensee companies".

It seeks to restrain Telenor from entering into a joint venture with any other partner in India by invoking non-compete clause in the SHA. Unitech prayed for restraining Telenor from "participating, negotiating, engaging in or being financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any other project for any business, which competes, directly or indirectly, with the business" of Uninor.