RCom insolvency proceedings stayed, deal with Jio may soon come through


New Delhi, May 31: The National Company Law Apellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday stayed bankruptcy proceedings against Reliance Communications (RCom) after the debt-laden telecom operator agreed to pay Rs 550 crore to Ericsson to settle a payment dispute.
Swedish company Ericsson, which signed a seven-year deal in 2014 to operate and manage RCom’s nationwide telecom network, was seeking Rs 1,155 crore from the company and two of its subsidiaries. RCom had subsequently, filed an appeal with the NCLAT after the tribunal earlier this month admitted an insolvency plea against the company filed by Ericsson.
A two-member bench headed by NCLAT Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya directed RCom and its subsidiares — Reliance Infratel and Reliance Telecom — to pay Rs 550 crore to Ericsson India in 120 days, failing which it will direct insolvency proceedings against the company.
The countdown would start from June 1.
RCom agreeing to pay part of its due to Ericsson by September-end potentially paves the way for the Anil Ambani-controlled telecoms operator to sell its wireless assets including mobile masts and airwaves to his brother Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) and Canadian company Brookfield in a deal worth to the tune of Rs 23,000 crore. With debt of Rs 45,733 crore at the end of March 2017, RCom is the most debt-laden listed telecom carrier in India.