RCom gets court approval to sell wireless business

09 Apr 2018

India's Supreme Court has cleared Reliance Communications (RCom) to sell its wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm for 250 billion rupees ($3.85 billion), vacating two stay orders on the sell-off.

The court has vacated a stay on the sale of spectrum, media convergence nodes and real estate, and has directed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to vacate the stay on the sale of the operator's tower and fiber assets, RCom announced.

In an interim order, the NCLAT has complied with the Supreme Court's direction, but will require the proceeds from the tower and fiber asset sale to be deposited into an escrow account.

Distribution of the proceeds will be subject to a final decision by the NCLAT expected next Wednesday.

RCom arranged to sell off its wireless business to Reliance Jio Infocomm as part of a radical debt reduction program.

But the tribunal issued an order prohibiting the sale of assets without court permission in response to an insolvency petition from Ericsson seeking a recovery of around $177.8 million in unpaid dues.

According to RCom, minority investors are making a claim for part of the proceeds of the sale of its tower and fiber assets, a claim that the operator fully disputes. Based on legal advice, RCom estimates that this claim can be for at most 2 billion to 3 billion rupees worth of the proceeds.

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