Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio may bag RCom’s tower and fibre assets

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November 30, 2019 2:10 AM

Bharti Airtel, Varde Partners and UV Asset Reconstruction Company (UVARC) had bid for all three assets of fibre, towers and spectrum of RCom.

reliance jio, bharti airtelJio is understood to have beaten Bharti Airtel, which bid Rs 1,800 crore for tower and fibre business.

Reliance Jio is slated to get the tower and fibre assets of the bankrupt Reliance Communications (RCom), housed under Reliance Infratel, with the Mukesh Ambani-led telecom company making the highest bid of `3,600 crore for these assets, said sources close to the development.

Jio is understood to have beaten Bharti Airtel, which bid Rs 1,800 crore for tower and fibre business. Apart from making the highest bid, Jio has also committed to make the full payment in two months time, sources told FE.
Bharti Airtel, Varde Partners and UV Asset Reconstruction Company (UVARC) had bid for all three assets of fibre, towers and spectrum of RCom. However, Reliance Jio did not bid for the company’s spectrum assets. FE had reported on November 25 that one of the bidders had refrained from bidding for the company’s spectrum.

Also, barring Jio, Bharti Airtel, Varde Partners and UVARC have made conditional bids for assets, which sources say could stretch the resolution process further, as the lenders will need to look into those conditions before finalising which bidder is offering maximum value for the assets. It is possible that the resolution professional (RP) may not be able to complete the process by January 10, 2020, as directed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), sources said. Conditional bids of Bharti excludes all properties and data centres.

Some of the conditions put forth by bidders include offering less upfront cash and the remaining as staggered payments like in the case of spectrum. Other conditions include paying for the assets after using those assets for a period of time.

The process of finalising the bids may take up to two weeks as committee of creditors will be seeking clarifications from the bidders and negotiate before voting on the bids and finalising them. SBI Caps is the consultant for the resolution process, which is evaluating the bids.

As part of the insolvency proceedings, all of RCom’s assets were put up for sale, including spectrum holding of 122 MHz estimated to be around `14,000 crore, towers business for`7,000 crore, optic fibre network `3,000 crore and data centres worth Rs 4,000 crore. The resolution professional (RP) had asked for bids from interested bidders for spectrum in the 850 MHz band used in 4G in 14 of India’s 22 telecom circles, around 43,000 telecom towers and fibre.

Since June 28, 2019, RCom’s affairs, business and assets are being managed by the RP Anish Niranjan Nanavaty, appointed by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai. The stressed telco’s total debt to financial creditors stands at Rs51,141 crore with the secured debt estimated at `33,000 crore. Lenders had submitted claims of around `49,000 crore in August.

RCom’s total liability includes Rs 23,327 crore worth of licence fees and `4,987 crore on account of spectrum usage charges. RCom posted a consolidated loss of `30,147 crore for the September 2019 quarter, providing for liabilities on statutory dues to the tune of Rs 28,314 crore.

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