Seeks to restrain sale of BPL Mobile

Our Bureau

Hutch vs Essar


Essar sends

termination notice to Hutch stating that approval for BPL Mobile merger with Hutch-Essar had not been obtained

Hutch says

conditions for purchase fulfilled; 98 pc of consideration paid for the deal; on Monday said it was ready to stitch up the deal

Mumbai, Aug. 2

Hutchison Telecommunications International has approached the Bombay High Court over Essar Group's decision to terminate the sale of BPL Mobile to Hutchison-Essar. While the specifics are not known, Hutchison disputed the validity of the termination and sought to restrain the sale of BPL Mobile by Essar to other parties, said sources.

Hutchison-Essar officials declined to comment saying that the matter is now

sub judice

.

While Essar had sent the termination notice to Hutch on the grounds that the approval for the merger of BPL Mobile with Hutch-Essar had not been obtained (it involves an intra-circle merger), Hutch felt that it had fulfilled the conditions for the purchase, said sources close to the matter.

They said Hutch had paid Essar 98 per cent of the consideration for the purchase of BPL Mobile, and even as recently as on Monday had said it was ready to stitch up the deal.

Sources said that Hutch felt that FIPB and DoT conditions had been substantially met and that Essar was calling off the deal on technicalities.

They said Hutch felt that FIPB approval had been obtained, thus clearing Essar's doubts on Egypt-based Orascom's indirect holding of more than 9 per cent stake in Hutchison-Essar.

Related Stories:
Essar calls off BPL Mobile sale to Hutchison
Hutch all set to acquire BPL Mobile
Hinduja group sells Hutch stake for Rs 2,000 cr

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 3, 2006)
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