RCom-Brookefield deal soon

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 11, 2017

Anil Ambani, key officials discuss tower deal with Brookefield executives in UAE

The proposed Reliance Communications-Brookefield Group tower deal is likely to fructify earlier than expected, with the companies already holding three meetings over the past 10 days. The deal is now expected to be announced by October-end or early November.

Billionaire Anil Ambani, who controls RCom, was in the UAE with several key company officials during this week to trash out the deal. The team held meetings with Brookefield Group officials, who were also in the country to discuss the revised contours of the deal, multiple sources close to the development told BusinessLine.

Discussing conditions

“The meetings were to finalise the new terms and conditions of the acquisitions, with Brookfield Group now looking to acquire RCom’s entire tower portfolio that is both owned by the company and held by its subsidiary Reliance Infratel. These meetings are basically to revalue the company,” one of the sources said. Further, the company has already conducted two Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) meetings this month itself, with one meeting held on Wednesday in Mumbai, and another one lined up this month itself.

JLF is a body of creditors, put in place following an RBI regulation in 2014, to tackle stressed loans. The norms that took effect from April 1, 2014, mandates putting in place a forum to take corrective actions, if interest payments on a loan are delayed by 60 days.

“These all prove that the company is looking to close the deal at the earliest, even though the general consensus in the industry was it could take at least a quarter more to tie-up a deal of this size. The deal should be announced latest by November,” another person said. All the sources declined to be identified as the discussions are in private. When contacted an RCom spokesperson declined to comment.

In December 2016, RCom entered into an agreement with Canadian alternative asset manager Brookfield to sell 51 per cent stake in its mobile tower arm for ₹11,000 crore. RCom was planning to demerge its towers into a new firm that will be owned and managed by Brookfield Infrastructure, a group company.

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Published on October 11, 2017
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