The Company Law Board has ruled that Uninor cannot go ahead with its proposed auction of sales and assets.

The Delhi High Court had earlier allowed Uninor to invite bids for selling its business and assets.

It had, however, asked the Company Law Board to decide the matter on merit adding that nothing will be confirmed till then.

The stay order, on Thursday, has dampened Telenor’s efforts to transfer Uninor’s business into a new entity and bring in another Indian partner before the upcoming auction.

“The intent and purpose of the auction notice is malafide as it intends to completely oust the petitioners, minority shareholders from the management of the company,” the CLB said in the order.

Reacting to the CLB order, Uninor said, “Since the CLB order has now been pronounced, we are able to comprehensively move our arguments towards Uninor’s assets auctions to the higher courts. As we have said earlier, Uninor will pursue every legal measure available that gives its employees, customers and business partners a chance to continue beyond the licence cancellation date.”

Unitech had approached the CLB against Uninor’s decision to auction its assets. Unitech, which owns about 33 per cent stake in Uninor, wants to be paid off at a higher valuation than what Telenor is willing to pay. Uninor preferred the auction route to get maximum possible returns for its investors.

Unitech, however, said the fact that Uninor, the auctioneer and the only party to have expressed interest already are all under the direct control of the same management of Telenor, only shows that this is not a free and fair process.

(This article was published on August 9, 2012)
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