Airtel, Jio among bidders for Aircel assets: report

21 Sep 2018

India's Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm are reportedly among the bidders for wireless assets held by bankrupt former operator Aircel.

The two operators, optical communications provider Sterlite Technologies and two investment firms have all submitted bids for the assets, sources told India's LiveMint.

According to the report, Airtel's creditors are favoring the possibility of a lump sum sale of all assets to a single bidder, and are hoping to raise over 250 billion rupees ($3.48 billion) from the sale.

But this would still represent a roughly 50% haircut for Airtel's lenders, who are collectively owed round 500 billion rupees.

Assets on the block include spectrum, towers and fiber infrastructure collectively valued at around 323.62 billion rupees. Airtel is the sole bidder for spectrum assets while Reliance Jio is the sole bidder for the tower assets, the report states.

The report also states that bids close on Monday and a winner will be selected around four weeks afterward, and that on the record, Sterlite has denied placing a bid.

Aircel filed for bankruptcy in March after failing to clinch a proposed merger with Reliance Communications last year.

Reliance Communications has itself exited the mobile market after arranging to sell its wireless assets to Reliance Jio, and parent company Reliance Group is considering exiting the telecoms sector completely.

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