* Telenor to hold 74 pct of India JV after deal with
* Enables Telenor to take part in licence auction planned to
start in Nov
* Says still hasn't made decision on whether to participate
in auction or not
(Adds detail, analyst)
OSLO, Oct 26 Norway's Telenor will
bring Lakshdeep Investments & Finance Pvt. Ltd into its new
Indian Telewings venture to bid jointly for new mobile telephone
licenses, Telenor said on Friday.
Lakshdeep replaces Unitech as Telenor's Indian
partner after authorities cancelled their Uninor venture's
licenses granted in a corruption-tainted 2008 licensing round.
Lakshdeep, a company controlled by Sudhir Valia, will
contribute an undisclosed amount of equity into the new
Telewings joint venture, in which Telenor will hold a 74 percent
stake, Telenor added.
Telenor has already submitted an application for
prequalification in the upcoming auction as it aims to stay in
the country despite being stripped of its permits.
Indian courts cancelled 122 regional operating permits held
by eight carriers earlier this year, forcing operators to
reapply for their permits.
Friday's deal makes it possible for Telenor to take part in
next month's auction of Indian mobile telephone spectrum as
local rules allow a maximum 74 percent shareholding by foreign
companies in telecom carriers.
"A final decision on whether to participate or not will be
made before the auction starts," Telenor said.
"These are people who enable international ownership," said
Espen Torgersen, analyst at Carnegie. "I expect that the risk
for the financial investor to be very much reduced, and probably
also the upside."
(Reporting by Victoria Klesty, additional reporting Joachim
Dagenborg; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)