RCom Could Exit India Following Asset Sale
March 23, 2018
Two of the people said that five companies had expressed interest in buying RCom’s remaining telecoms assets in a sale that could raise about $1.2bn.
However, when Jio’s bid was finalised, Ericsson moved the arbitral tribunal and sought to restrain the sale of RCom Consolidated’s assets on the ground that it had a claim of Rs 11.5 billion on the debt-ridden private telecom firm.
Later, on March 12, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal had stayed the sale of its tower and optic fibre assets to RJio based on the petition filed by the minority investors of its subsidiary – Reliance Infratel Ltd.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, and also comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit passed the status quo order and posted the matter for final hearing on April 5, Thursday.
According to five people close to the restructuring talks, the process has expanded to include the potential sale of RCom’s enterprise telecoms assets, such as its global submarine cable network as well as a fixed-line telecoms network and data centres in India.
RCom owes 35 Indian lenders ?45,000 crore, of which SBI’s exposure is ?4,000 crore.
RCom’s wholesale assets would include its data centre facilities, submarine cable and fixed-line network, which collectively are valued at around $1.2 billion.
On Wednesday, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Comunications got bondholders’ approval regarding the sale in order to trim down the debts.
The court will hear the case again on 5 April, which is a setback for RCom as it had hoped to close the deal by the end of March.
R-Com, however, has struck an optimistic note.
State Bank of India, one of RCom’s biggest creditors had filed a petition to the Supreme Court to allow the sale to go through even as Ericsson’s case remains at the arbitration tribunal.
The stock zoomed 8.86 per cent to settle at Rs 25.20 on BSE.