Bahrain Batelco sues Indian ex-partner for $185 mln

Matt Smith

DUBAI, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Bahrain Telecommunications Co

(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 Oct. 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


(Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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