Airtel withdraws RCom bid, citing unfair treatment

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2019 Published on November 17, 2019

File Photo   -  Reuters

Fumes over creditor panel giving more time for bidding at Rjio’s request

Bharti Airtel has withdrawn its bid to acquire the assets of Reliance Communications after lenders agreed to extend the deadline for submitting the bids by 10 days. The extension was given on the request of Reliance Jio.

According to Airtel, such a move was unfair as the lenders had earlier rejected its request to extend the deadline.

In a communication to the resolution professional handling Reliance Communication’s insolvency process, Airtel termed the decision to extend the deadline as unfair and biased.

On October 31, Airtel had requested an extension of time to submit the resolution plan from November 11 till December 1.

This request was rejected by the Committee of Creditors. Airtel told the resolution professional that it was forced to submit its bid in haste to meet the deadline.

However, the same CoC agreed to extend the deadline to November 25 after Reliance Jio sought 10 more days to submits its bid.

Airtel has withdrawn its bid but not ruled out submitting a fresh resolution plan within the new deadline.

Last week, RCom received bids including from Sunil Mittal-controlled Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel and PE firm Varde Partners for its assets including spectrum, tower, fibre, ‘media convergence nodes’ and real estate. RCom, which is undergoing insolvency proceedings, has a secured debt of about ₹33,000 crore.

Earlier in October, the RP, who chaired RCom’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), said that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had extended the date for completion of the asset-sale process by three months, and now the date to complete the process is January 10, 2020.

RCom assets

RCom’s assets include spectrum, tower, fibre, ‘media convergence nodes’ and real estate, which are housed under its subsidiaries Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel.

In December 2017, Mukesh Ambani emerged as the white knight and announced the acquisition of the debt-laden RCom through RJio, then a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries. In March this year, RCom and Reliance Industries mutually called off that deal, citing lack of regulatory approvals.

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Published on November 17, 2019
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