Tech Mahindra on Thursday withdrew its insolvency petition against Reliance Communications (RCom), citing ongoing settlement talks between the companies. Last month, Tech Mahindra had filed the petition with the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking dues of Rs 8.2 crore from the telco. RCom had said in a regulatory filing in October that Tech Mahindra, a vendor for call centre services, had filed petitions, as an unsecured operational creditor under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) against the company, Reliance Telecom and Reliance Big TV, subsidiaries of the company, for certain bills submitted by them for services allegedly rendered.
“The quality of service and the amounts billed are disputed. The aggregate amount of the claim made by Tech Mahindra against all the three companies together is Rs 8.2 crore and the claim amount is not considered material by the respective companies concerned,” the company had said, adding that the petitions were misconceived, premature and motivated by extraneous considerations. Apart from Tech Mahindra, Ericsson India had also filed a petition against RCom under the IBC claiming dues of Rs 1,156 crore and will be heard by the tribunal on November 9. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) recently presented lenders with a fresh debt restructuring plan proposing banks convert Rs 7,000 crore of loans into a 51% stake in the telco.
Punit Garg, executive director, RCom, said at a press conference that the joint lenders forum (JLF) was “very, very comfortable looking at the conservative management estimates”. “Do you think lenders can refuse a zero write-off plan… they have to be so happy and thrilled,” Garg said when asked if the company has received the lenders’ nod. The company has also told lenders that it will monetise a part of its assets (spectrum, towers, fibre assets, media convergence nodes) worth Rs 17,000 crore and repay Rs 10,000 crore through sale of real estate assets. Going by the proposal, the company’s remaining debt will stand at Rs 6,000 crore after the monetisation exercise. Of debt of Rs 45,000 crore, an amount of Rs 40,000 crore is from secured creditors while the rest is unsecured. RCom reported a net loss of Rs 1,283 crore in FY17 on revenues of Rs 19,493 crore, with interest expenses standing at Rs 3,561 crore. The telco’s gross debt stood at Rs 45,000 crore in FY17, of which Rs 25,000 crore was from domestic lenders.