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Telenor Seeks to Buy Out its Indian Minority Shareholder

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Norway's Telenor has announced that it is seeking approval from Indian regulators to buy out the minority shareholders in its Indian mobile network subsidiary.

Telenor currently owns 74% of Uninor, which was the maximum permitted until the government relaxed the limits last July, although any increase still needs approval by regulators.

Telenor said that it has filed an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to approve an investment of Rs 780 crore (USD131 million) to buy out the stake held by Lakshdeep Investments.

Uninor has over 30 million customers and currently offers services in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP East and UP West. It planning to launch services Assam later this year.

This is Telenor's second investment in the country, after it was forced to write off its previous investment with Unitech Wireless when its 2008 GSM licenses were cancelled by the Supreme Court. It later formed a new partnership and bought back a number of the licenses in an open auction.

It now claims to be the fourth largest mobile network by customer and revenue in the circles where it operates.

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Tags: uninor  telenor  India