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

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on November 13, 2019

RCom has a total secured debt of about ₹33,000 crore   -  INDRANIL MUKHERJEE

Lenders of debt-laden Reliance Communications (RCom) have agreed to extend the deadline for submitting bids by another 10 days to enable Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) place its offer for the company’s assets.

“The Committee of Creditors (CoC), which met today, agreed to provide an extension as sought by RJio. The bids will now open on November 25,” a source close to the development told BusinessLine.

When contacted, RJio declined to comment.

On Tuesday, RCom received bids from firms including Sunil Mittal-controlled Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel and PE firm Varde Partners for its assets that are up for sale. RCom, which is undergoing insolvency proceedings, has a total secured debt of about ₹33,000 crore.

However, billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led RJio had not placed its bid and has sought a 10-day extension.

The deadline for submitting the bids ended on November 11. The CoC comprises about 40 lenders, including the State Bank of India, the China Development Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

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

RJio has been using RCom’s 58 MHz spectrum in the 800 MHz band across 21 circles, a crucial 4G spectrum, the licence for which spectrum ends in 2021.

In 2018, RJio entered into an agreement with RCom to buy its assets that included 43,000 telecom towers and 1.78-lakh route km fibre and use spectrum, a deal that failed to go through.

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. Later, in March this year, RCom and Reliance Industries mutually called off that deal, citing lack of regulatory approvals.

Published on November 13, 2019

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