Telenor hopes to close Unitech deal by Jan 2009

Telenor hopes to close Unitech deal by Jan 2009

New Delhi: The completion of one of the most hyped deal of the year between Unitech Wireless and Telenor has now been delayed by about a month to January 2009 from the anticipated time frame of the transaction being wrapped by this year’s end.

An industry source said the reason for the delay might have been the Telenor’s search for alternative sources of funding the Rs6,120 crore buy-out for Unitech’s 60% stake.

The Norway-based company was planning to raise money through the rights issue to invest in Unitech. Telenor’s 54% stake is held by the government.

Telenor on 26 November said that it had retained Deutsche Bank to help reassess the alternative ways of funding the investment.

The evaluation of alternatives, including the previously announced rights issue of NOK 12 billion, is ongoing and Telenor intends to announce a decision on the funding of the investment at, or prior to, the closing of the Unitech Wireless transaction.

It is believed that the telecom deal is to finish off Rs2,000 crore debt from Unitech’s balance sheet.

The Norway-based company had on 29 October announced the expected closing of the Unitech Wireless transaction in India by the 2008-end.