The 2G scam has finally started taking its toll on the telcos with Batelco Group, the Middle Eastern regional telecommunications operator deciding to quit India by announcing the sale of its shareholding in STel Private Limited (STel), a mobile operator in India.
The company said that this is a part of an earlier understanding with its Indian Partner to exit, given the circumstances surrounding the 2G probe in India over the past twelve months.
“BMIC Limited, a 100% Batelco owned subsidiary company, entered into an agreement, in the fourth quarter of 2011 to sell its 42.7% equity in STel for BD 65.8M (US $174.5M) to its Indian partner, Sky City Foundation Limited”, said Batelco’s Group Chief Executive, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The agreed time frame for completion of the sale is the end of October 2012.
As stated in previous press statements, BMIC Limited (BMIC) had decided, as early as April 2011 to actively pursue the sale of this investment. Batelco Group had disclosed in its Financial Accounts for the period ending 30 June 2011, that BMIC’s investment in STel was presented as an asset held-for-sale.
BMIC acquired 42.7% equity in STel via two transactions in May and June 2009 for a total of $174.5M.
“As Batelco continues to grow and diversify its operations, we remain interested in other investment opportunities for the Batelco Group that will enable us to participate in the Indian telecom market. We are actively exploring all options in this respect over the coming months,” added Shaikh Mohamed.