The UK-based broadband services company Augere has sought the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s approval to increase its stake in the Indian venture from 74 per cent to 100 per cent.

The company, headed by Sanjiv Ahuja, former CEO of French mobile services provider Orange, had won broadband spectrum in the auctions held in 2010, but has been unable to launch services till now.

Augere had paid about ₹125 crore for 4G spectrum in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. In 2011, the company announced that it would initially launch services in 14 cities in these two States, beginning April 1, 2012.

However in May 2012, the company’s CEO Lars Henrick Stork was quoted by the media that the company had stopped all operational activities in India, and had asked employees to go on leave as it was reassessing its plans here due to regulatory uncertainty.

According to industry sources, the company has been trying to sell its spectrum to one of the existing players, but so far this has not fructified.

The latest move from Augere follows the Government’s decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in telecom.

Augere will acquire 26 per cent stake from entities owned by Deepak Puri, founder of Moser-Baer India.

Shares allotment

In the application submitted to FIPB, the company has said that 1,036,253 shares are pending allotment to Augere Ltd, UK, as the Indian partner has not been able to fund the proportionate amount for its equity.

“It has now been decided that Augere shall acquire 26 per cent shares owned by the Indian partner, thereby making Augere India 100 per cent owned by Augere Mauritius and Augere Ltd, UK,” the application to the FIPB stated.

The deal would see an inflow of $1.5 million as FDI.

However, there is no clarity on when the company plans to start services.

According to the licence conditions, the company is supposed to roll out obligations by 2015.

“Augere expects to launch full commercial broadband wireless services in India in due course,” the company states on its website.

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