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RCom: Reliance Infratel, Minority Investors Reach Amicable Settlement

Anil Ambani-run Reliance Communications’ (RCom’s) tower and fibre arm Reliance Infratel Limited (RITL) on Tuesday reached an amicable settlement with its minority investors.

Minority investors hold 4.26 per cent equity in RITL.

The settlement paves the way for the vacation of the stay granted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on the sale of RITL’s tower and fibre assets.

Further, the settlement will enable asset monetisation of Rs 80 billion (Rs 8,000 crore) as soon as the company exits the debt resolution process under NCLT.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) was on Tuesday scheduled to hear RCom’s plea challenging NCLT’s decision to start insolvency proceedings against it on a petition by Swedish telecom equipment major Ericsson.

Last week, RCom had approached the NCLAT along with its subsidiaries — Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL) and RITL.

On May 15, the Mumbai Bench of the NCLT had admitted an insolvency petition filed by Ericsson against Reliance Communications and two of its subsidiaries seeking to recover unpaid dues.

Ericsson, which had signed a seven-year deal in 2014 to operate and manage RCom’s nationwide telecom network, had alleged that it had not been paid the dues.

Last September, the Swedish company had filed a petition in the NCLT’s Mumbai Bench seeking liquidation of the telecom operator to recover Rs 11.5 billion (Rs 1,150 crore) that RCom allegedly owes it.

In December last year, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio had announced a mega-deal to acquire RCom’s mobile business assets, including spectrum, mobile towers, and optical fibre network. RCom has been reeling under about Rs 450 billion in debt and hopes to use the entire proceeds to pare the same.

The asset sale process, however, hit a hurdle when an arbitration court, in an interim order, barred the sale plans without its permission, on an appeal by telecom gear maker Ericsson India. – Business Standard

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