New Delhi: Government on Friday allowed Norwegian telecom firm Telenor to increase stake in its Indian arm from 49 per cent to 74 per cent at an estimated equity infusion of around Rs 934 crore. "Telenor proposal has been approved," Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said after the meeting of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
Industry sources said Telenor's proposal involve investment of Rs 934 crore to raise stake by 25 per cent to 74 per cent in Indian arm Telewings Communications. "In accordance with procedure, Telenor Group have applied for FIPB approvals to allow us to invest further in India and increase our ownership from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in Telewings Communications Services Private Limited. We await the formal communication of this application from the Indian government," Telenor said in a statement.
The company, however, did not comment on the investment amount which was approved by FIPB. Telenor's India unit, which operates under the brand name Uninor, has presence in six circles of Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP East, UP West, Bihar (including Jharkhand) and Andhra Pradesh.
However, the company is in process to transfer Uninor's business under new entity Telewings Communications through which it participated in spectrum auction and won airwaves for Rs 4,018 crore to offer mobile phone services in these circles. Telenor has signed Lakshdeep Investments and Finance as the partner to form Telewings Communications as present FDI norm allow holding of up to 74 per cent stake in a telecom services company.
Earlier this month, Telenor Group President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma in Myanmar. Sharma had assured him that the pending investment issues would be expedited with the relevant authorities.