RJio emerges top bidder for RCom tower, fibre assets

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on November 30, 2019 Published on November 30, 2019

File photo   -  REUTERS

At ₹3,600 crore, its offer is twice as much as Airtel’s


Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) has emerged as the highest bidder for Reliance Communications’ (RCom) tower and fibre assets, with the company controlled by Asia’s richest person Mukesh Ambani placing a ₹3,600-crore bid. Bharti Airtel’s bid for the same assets, housed under RCom subsidiary Reliance Infratel, is at ₹1,800 crore, according to sources.

RJio, which did not bid for the entire assets put out for auction, has committed to making the payments within 60 days, banking sources close to the development told BusinessLine, adding that the evaluation process by SBI Caps is currently on. Bids submitted by other bidders could not be ascertained.

Bharti Airtel has made a conditional bid for RJio’s assets, which excludes all properties and data centres, sources said.

Also read | Airtel, RJio and 2 others bid for RCom assets

The process of finalising the bids will take a minimum of one to two weeks as the Committee of Creditors (CoC) will have to meet every bidder and negotiate a final price. Following the negotiations, the CoC will have to finalise a bidder based on voting by the members, sources added. When contacted, spokespersons of RJio and Airtel declined to comment.

Read | RCom lenders reject resignation of Anil Ambani, 4 other directors

According to media reports on Thursday, Bharti Airtel has submitted conditional bids of about ₹9,500 crore for RCom assets, including spectrum, mobile towers and optical fibre. However, BusinessLine could not independently confirm this.

Last date for resolution

The last date for completion of the resolution process is January 10, 2020, following an extension received from National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) earlier. However, the process is likely to overshoot this deadline, the sources added.

Beleaguered telecom major RCom had received a total of 11 bids from four companies for assets housed under various subsidiaries. Apart from RJio and Sunil-Mittal backed Bharti Airtel, PE firm Varde Partners and UV Asset Reconstruction Company (UVARCL) were the others in the fray.

Read | RCom lenders extend deadline by 10 days to enable RJio place bid

RCom’s assets include spectrum, tower, fibre, media convergence nodes and real estate, housed under three companies — RCom, Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel. The bids were invited separately for each firm.

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Published on November 30, 2019
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