Bloomberg News

Telenor Rises on Report Unitech May Buy It Out of India

October 11, 2011

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Telenor ASA rose to its highest in five months in Oslo trading after Indian television channel ET Now reported that partner Unitech Ltd. offered to buy Telenor’s 67 percent stake in their Indian phone venture Uninor.

Telenor, the Nordic region’s largest phone company, added as much as 3.8 percent to 95.4 kroner, the highest intraday price since May 19, and was trading up 0.6 percent at 92.45 kroner as of 10:56 a.m.

Telenor, which has units in Pakistan and Bangladesh, opened the India unit with Unitech in 2009. Unitech has blocked a rights issue proposed by Telenor. Tanuja Kehar, a Unitech spokeswoman, would neither confirm or deny the bid when contacted by Bloomberg News. Tor Odland, a Telenor spokesman, said he had “no particular comment” on today’s report and added that the company’s position on financing remains the same.

“I struggle to believe that Telenor are sellers,” Robin Bienenstock, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said by phone today. “They seem to have greater ambitions in India. Were that to happen it would be very good for the stock and would make shareholders very happy. I would encourage the CEO of Telenor to embrace a good offer, but my guess is that he won’t.”

--Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Simon Thiel.

To contact the reporters responsible for this story: Meera Bhatia at mbhatia2@bloomberg.net; Diana ben-Aaron at dbenaaron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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