One 97 Communications, the parent company of digital payments provider Paytm, has moved insolvency court against Reliance Telecom, a subsidiary of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom), citing non-payment of dues. According to people familiar with the matter, the case has been filed against the debt-laden telco for recovery of dues worth Rs 20 crore.
Legal sources familiar with developments said RCom tried to come to a settlement with Paytm’s parent firm but the talks fell through. For RCom, it is imperative there are no other spanners in its asset monetisation sale, which has been delayed because of various court cases.
National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) Mumbai bench has scheduled the hearing for October 26. RCom and Paytm did not respond to emailed queries seeking comment. RCom, which has a debt of Rs 46,000 crore, is selling its assets to Reliance JioInfocomm (Jio) and Canadian asset management company Brookfield for Rs 18,000 crore.
While the telco has managed to sell its fibre and nodes to Jio, it is stuck in legal tussle with the telecom department over spectrum dues and till that is cleared, the spectrum sale to Jio can not happen. The hearing for spectrum dues by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) is on Wednesday.
The operator, which has shut down its wireless business under industry pressure, will also have to pay Rs 550 crore to Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson by September 30 to settle a dispute over dues, failing which any sale to Jio will be nullified and the company will be dragged back into insolvency proceedings.
RCom also needs to pay minority shareholders of its tower arm, Reliance Infratel, Rs 232 crore under a separate settlement of a dispute.
Both parent groups have worked together before as well. In 2017, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Capital sold its stake in One97 Communications to China’s Alibaba in a deal estimated at Rs 275 crore. Reliance Capital is engaged in businesses of asset management, insurance, commercial and home finance and equities and commodities broking. – Gadgets Now