Bahrain Batelco sues Indian ex-partner for $185 mln

DUBAI Thu Nov 8, 2012 3:13pm IST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH (Batelco) is suing ex-partner Siva Ltd for $185 million, claiming the Indian firm has failed to adhere to a settlement agreement over their joint venture S Tel, the former monopoly said in a statement.

S Tel was one of eight Indian mobile operators ordered to be stripped of licences in February as part of a corruption probe.

Later that month, Batelco announced it had agreed to sell its 43 percent stake in S Tel back to Sky City Foundation Ltd for $175 million, receiving the price paid to acquire its S Tel holding in 2009.

At the time, Batelco said the deal would be completed in the fourth quarter, while in mid-October the firm's chief executive told reporters there was an October 31 deadline for it to receive the money due.

Sky City Foundation is a hedge fund that was part of a consortium that also sold a 51 percent 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 $184.79 million.

Siva and Sky City were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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