RCom, Jio call off deal on asset sale

Anil Ambani’s group settles dues to Ericsson

MUMBAI: In two key developments involving the two Reliance groups, while the Reliance Communications (RCom) terminated the long-discussed asset sale plan with Reliance Jio, the Anil-Ambani’s RCom settled its Rs550 crore dues with Ericsson thus warding off a likely jail term for its chairman, the junior Ambani.

The refusal of consent for the deal on the part of the lenders of RCom and DoT has been identified as the main reasons among others for the termination of the deal that if went through would have been a financial support for the struggling RCom.

A statement from Reliance Industries said that the Master Agreement for acquisition of certain specific assets of RCom Entities and the Spectrum Trading Agreement for change in allotment of certain specific spectrum executed between and amongst RJIL and RCom Entities was forthwith terminated and with effect from March 18, 2019, without any further obligations and liabilities.

As a last-ditch bid to save RCom from the huge pile of debt, estimated at Rs46,000 crore, the company had entered into a deal to sell 122.4 Mhz of spectrum and 43,000 telecom towers to Reliance Jio, and a portion of its real estate assets to Canada’s Brookfield.

However, the settling of the dues to Ericsson has certainly come as a relief to RCom and more importantly, its celebrated chairman Anil Ambani.  He has thanked his brother Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani for helping him and his company in settling the vexed financial issue with the Swedish company.

“The agreements dated December 28, 2017 and August 11, 2018 entered into between RCom, RTL, RITL (of RCom Group) and RJIL respectively for sale of certain specified telecom assets have been terminated today by mutual consent,” said the telecom outfit in a regulatory filing to the stock markets on Monday (March 18).

RCom’s debt resolution will now be taken up by the bankruptcy court. RCom entities’ application is before the NCLAT to withdraw their appeals and a consequent prayer to reinstate corporate insolvency resolution process has also been filed.






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