Ericsson attempting media trial to recover dues; jeopardising interest of secured lenders: Reliance Communications

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New Delhi | Updated: January 6, 2019 9:23:09 PM

The Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications asserted its commitment to clear Ericsson’s dues worth Rs 550 crore from spectrum sale of Rs 975 crore (that RCom expects to get) to Reliance Jio.

reliance communications, anil ambani, reliance jioBoth the telecom firms, RCom and Reliance Jio had reportedly approached telecom ministry on Friday for clarity on its stand on the spectrum deal. RCom’s debt stands at over Rs 47,000 crore.

Debt-ridden telecom firm RCom (Reliance Communications) has accused Swedish telecom equipment maker and its operational creditor Ericsson of sensationalising and seeking media trial over clearance of dues, PTI reported. RCom said that the move might risk interest of secured lenders.

The Anil Ambani-led RCom, however, asserted its commitment to clear Ericsson’s dues worth Rs 550 crore from spectrum sale of Rs 975 crore (that RCom expects to get) to Reliance Jio.

Both the telecom firms, RCom and Reliance Jio had reportedly approached telecom ministry on Friday for clarity on its stand on the spectrum deal. RCom’s debt stands at over Rs 47,000 crore.

“It is deeply regrettable that Ericsson is attempting a trial by media and sensationalising issues, as evidenced in recent media reports,” PTI quoted RCom spokesperson as saying in a statement.

Ericsson India Friday not only sought initiation of contempt proceedings from the Supreme Court against Anil Ambani for allegedly not complying with its order to clear dues but also detention of Ambani and two others in civil prison.

Additionally, Ericsson sought directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that Ambani, Reliance Telecom’s chairman Satish Seth, and Reliance Infratel’s chairperson Chhaya Virani don’t exit the country.

RCom spokesperson, however, denied being served by any notice on the contempt petition.

“Needless to say, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has not even considered the matter till date,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the approval from DoT (Department of Telecom) is awaited since August 7, 2018. RCom, for the same, has moved a contempt petition against DoT before the Supreme Court which is listed on Monday, January 7, 2019.

RCom had entered into an agreement with Reliance Jio last year for selling its wireless spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes assets to offload some of its debt.

RCom also expects to pay Rs 230 crore as dues of Reliance Infratel minority investors.

The DoT had slammed breaks on the spectrum deal after Reliance Jio refused to pay any past dues that RCom owes to the government.

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