Batelco sues Indian ex-partner for $185m
Action said to be over S Tel settlement agreement
Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) is suing Indian ex-partner Siva Ltd for $185m over an alleged failure to honour the terms of a settlement on the duo's joint venture S Tel, Reuters reported.
S Tel was one of eight Indian mobile operators that were relieved of their licences in February in the heat of a corruption scandal. Batelco subsequently announced its intention to sell its 43% stake in S Tel back to Sky City Foundation Ltd for $175m, thereby recouping its 2009 expenditure to acquire the holding.
At the time, Batelco said the deal would be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, but in mid October the firm's chief executive told reporters there was a 31 October deadline for it to receive the money due.
Sky City Foundation is a hedge fund and member of a consortium that also sold a 51% stake in S Tel to Siva Ltd in 2009, and Batelco has now launched legal proceedings via fully owned subsidiary BMIC Ltd against Siva and its founder Chinnakannan Sivasankaran.
"BMIC Limited filed a claim in the UK High Court of Justice, Commercial Court... for failing to adhere to a Settlement Agreement," Batelco said in an emailed statement, adding it was seeking to recover $184.79m.
Siva and Sky City were not immediately available for comment.