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Reliance Projects moves a fresh petition at NCLT to complete acquisition of RITL

Reliance Jio subsidiary Reliance Projects and Property Management Services has moved a fresh petition at National Company Law Tribunal Mumbai to complete acquisition of Reliance Infratel (RITL) that owns tower and fibre assets of Reliance Communications.

The Jio subsidiary has proposed to put ₹3,500 crore in escrow account to be distributed amongst creditors once the inter-creditor disputes over the distribution of resolutions funds, are resolved, according to a copy of the petition that was filed last month.

The company added in its petition that the delay in implementation of the resolution plan was leading to deterioration of the value of the assets. The assets include over 43,500 towers and over 1.7 lakh km of laid out fibre.

It sought from the tribunal that it should be allowed to “deposit the total resolution amount in an account with SBI” and direct the parties involved, “that upon such deposit, the resolution plan shall stand implemented and the applicant shall acquire ownership and control of RITL in terms of the resolution plan.”

The company added that “In turn, the value of the assets of the Corporate Debtor (Reliance Infratel), will deteriorate, if urgent action is not taken towards implementation.”

Reliance did not respond to Mint’s queries as the matter is subjudice.

Reliance Infratel is undergoing liquidation process in the company law tribunal where Jio’s subsidiary had placed the bid of ₹4,000 crore in November 2019. In November 2020, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank tagged RITL as a “fraud account” following a forensic audit. Reliance Jio’s subsidiary’s resolution plan was approved by the committee of creditors in December 2020, and

However, SBI and a few other banks, including Doha Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Emirates Bank, are engaged in a legal battle over the distribution of funds. The matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

Doha Bank had challenged the classification of claims from the indirect creditors of RITL, as the financial creditors, by the resolution professional. It had moved the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, but the body had denied the company’s claims.

All banks including China Development Bank, Export Import Bank of China, Shubh Holdings Pte and SC Lowy Asset Management, have been made party to petition. The Chinese entities had written to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this year and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India seeking their intervention to speed up RITL’s resolution process. LiveMint

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