Chennai: Keen to make a fresh start, Norway- based Telenor on Saturday said it has approached the investment board in the finance ministry for starting a new joint venture in India after parting ways with estranged partner Unitech.

"We have already filed a FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) application," Telenor Asia Head Sigve Brekke told reporters here.

He further said the company has is in dialogue with some "interested parties".

Telenor in a joint venture with realty company Unitech had formed telecom business Uninor, whose 22 licences are among the 122 licences cancelled by the Supreme Court. The two partners have also landed themselves into litigation for control of Uninor which has rolled out its mobile services in 13 circles.

"We are not even thinking about what our partner (Unitech) did.... This is now in the court. In the meantime, we want to have a fresh start. And the fresh start is with a new company and with a new partner," Brekke, who is also the Uninor Managing Director said.

To a query on its future plans, Brekke said first the company has to find a solution with the current partner and then identify a new partner.

"There are two-three things that needs to come. One, we have to find a solution with the current partner, and that needs to happen before going into new licence. After that solution is found, we need a new partner to come in. After that is done, the third step is to transfer assets from the old company into the new company," he said.

Brekke said the company intends to have a long-term presence in whichever country it operates. Telenor is a long-term player in Bangladesh and Thailand, he said.

He further said the company has so far invested about Rs 15,000 crore in India.

Asked about how many customers have Uninor has lost in the wake of the Supreme Court cancelling its licenses, he said it was below the "industry average".

"Industry average is about 20 to 25 percent. On yearly basis, we are slightly below the industry average...," he said.

Brekke claimed in February that the company rose to second position in Tamil Nadu circle as it added 3.21 lakh customers after Aircel's 3.43 lakh.

In Tamil Nadu Uninor has about 3,500 retailers and has more than 19 lakh customers.

(Agencies)