Batelco the first casualty of licence revocation

9 Feb 2012

Bahrain’s Batelco has pulled out of its Indian operations following the ruling of India’s Supreme Court to cancel 122 2G concessions, including those owned by wireless provider STel, in which Batelco had a 42.7% stake. According to Bloomberg, Batelco sold the stake in STel to its Indian partner Sky City Foundation Ltd for USD174.5 million.

Batelco is the first of the foreign investors affected by the court’s decision to withdraw from the Indian market. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Uninor, Sistema Shyam TeleServices and Swan Telecom (owned or part owned by Norway’s Telenor, Russia’s Sistema and the UAE’s Etisalat respectively) have also been affected by the court’s decision: Uninor and Sistema have put diplomatic pressure on India as well as investigating their legal options, whilst Etisalat is reportedly still considering its options.

India, Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), STel (India)