Telecom Italia to put €1.4b in India telco

Telecom Italia is close to reaching a deal to invest €1.4 billion (US$2 billion) for a 49% holding in a telecoms venture of Indian realty Unitech, a Reuters report said.

Citing an unidentified executive of the Indian firm, local newspaper The Economic Times said Unitech would transfer its telecoms business to a new company, in which it will hold the remaining 51%.

Unitech has licences to provide telecoms services in all of India's 22 service areas, but is yet to start operations. In July, Managing Director Sanjay Chandra said the firm wanted to finalise a foreign partner in two months.

A spokesman for Unitech declined comment on the newspaper report.

India permits foreign firms to own a maximum of 74% in a telecoms firm, the report further said.