Home >Industry >Telecom >Batelco to seek $212 million from bankrupt Sivasankaran

New Delhi: Bahrain’s telecom firm Bahrain Telecommunications Co. or Batelco has said it will continue to seek $212 million from its former partner C. Sivasankaran for the failed Indian venture despite his bankruptcy.

On 26 August, Sivasankaran—chairman of Siva Ltd—was declared bankrupt by the Supreme Court of the Seychelles.

“Sivasankaran’s bankruptcy will not thwart our determination to recover the substantial monies that he owes us," Batelco group CEO Alan Whelan said in a statement.

As the major creditor of Sivasankaran’s bankrupt estate, Batelco will provide all relevant support and assistance to the official receiver to enable the timely recovery and realisation of sufficient assets from his global estate to repay outstanding judgement debt, he added.

BMIC, a subsidiary of the Batelco Group of Companies, had obtained a judgement against Chinnakannan Sivasankaran and Siva Ltd for the sum of $212 million and indefinite worldwide freezing order against the latter’s assets from the high court of England.

“Our successful enforcement action with the courts to date, confirms our resolve and commitment to have our debt fully and promptly paid," he said.

BMIC is the largest creditor of Sivasankaran’s bankrupt estate, the statement said.

Sivasankaran sold 42.7% stake in the now-defunct mobile services provider in India, S Tel to Batelco in 2009.

S Tel had been awarded a 2G licence in 2008, which was cancelled by India’s Supreme Court in February 2012.

BMIC and Siva entered into an option agreement, under which Siva would have to buy BMIC’s stake in S Tel at the same price that BMIC had paid for the acquisition.

In March 2012, Batelco announced it had agreed to sell its stake in STel back to Sky City Foundation, receiving the share price paid to acquire its holding.

However, as no payment was forthcoming by the deal’s deadline of end-October 2012, the following month BMIC commenced litigation in the UK against Siva and Sivasankaran.

“The defendants failed to comply with their obligations under the settlement agreement. BMIC subsequently commenced proceedings against the defendants in the English high court and successfully obtained the judgement for $212 million," the statement said.

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