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Telecom Tribunal Relief For Reliance Comm

Planned spectrum sale allowed; money to be used to pay Ericsson, RITL minority shareholders.

Reliance Communications (R-Com) on Wednesday said it has got relief from the telecom appellate tribunal and can now complete its planned spectrum sale, proceeds of which will be used to make payments to Ericsson India and the RITL minority investors.

In a statement, the Anil Ambani group company said it would receive Rs 975 crore from the sale of spectrum to Reliance Jio.

Of this amount, R-Com will pay Ericsson Rs 550 crore and minority shareholders of RITL (Reliance Infratel) Rs 230 crore.

“Reliance Communications has been granted relief by the…Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) vide its interim order dated October 1, 2018, whereby…TDSAT has stayed the demand of bank guarantee of Rs 2,900 crore by the department of telecommunications,” it said.

The company added that it had challenged the “unjustly sought security for the alleged demands” by the telecom department for spectrum use charges (SUC).

After multiple hearings since August 28, 2018 the Hon’ble TDSAT, vide its interim order dated October 1, 2018, has stayed the said demand and directed DoT to expeditiously grant its approval for trading of the spectrum,” R-Com added.

The debt-laden firm pointed out that 38 secured lenders of the group have already approved the sale of the said spectrum.

This development should come as a relief to the company which on Tuesday said it had learnt that unsecured creditor Ericsson India had filed a contempt petition on October 1, in the Supreme Court in relation to the settlement amount of Rs 550 crore to be paid by R-Com.

R-Com had also stated that it filed an application on September 28 in the apex court seeking 60 more days to repay the Swedish telecom equipment maker.

That matter is slated to be heard on October 4, it pointed out.

Last year, R-Com had signed a pact with Reliance Jio for the sale of wireless spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes assets the proceeds of which were to be used to pare debt.

From that deal, R-Com has thus far announced the completion of the sale of optical fibre assets worth Rs 3,000 crore and the sale of its media convergence nodes worth Rs 2,000 crore to Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Shares of R-Com ended 1.09 per cent lower at Rs 11.80 on the BSE. – Telegraph India

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