India's RCom pays Ericsson, says asset deal with Jio falls through

19 March, 2019, 00:46 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Anil Ambani Mukesh Ambani Ericsson RCom Reliance Communications RCom debt Business news

The statement from Anil Ambani, whose businesses in the telecom and power sectors ran into heavy debt over the years, also said that he and his family were "deeply touched" that they had moved "beyond the past".

As debt grew, RCom, in December 2017, entered into a deal with Jio to sell spectrum and other assets such as fibre network and telecom towers for an estimated Rs 17,000 crore.

The Court grants an opportunity to Anil Ambani to overcome contempt by paying Ericsson the balance amount after deducting the Rs 118 crore already deposited in the Court.

Late last month, the Supreme Court had ordered RCom and two of its directors to pay Ericsson ₹4.5 billion within four weeks or face a three-month jail term for contempt of court.

Almost 15 months after Anil Ambani agreed to sell assets of Reliance Communications to a telecom firm run by elder brother Mukesh, the two groups Monday called off the deal citing delays in approval from the government and lenders.

RCom owes a total ₹5.71 billion to Ericsson, including a one-time settlement of ₹5.5 billion and interest payments of ₹210 million. But the deal has hit regulatory hurdles and opposition from creditors.

The two brothers had fought a bitter public battle after his father Dhirubhai died without leaving a will.

"The said transactions have become incapable of being consummated in accordance with the terms thereof, on account of various factors and developments since the execution of the said agreements almost 15 months ago...", RCom said.

In 2018, Reliance Jio Infocomm, controlled by Mukesh Ambani, bought RCom's wireless assets for Rs 3,000 crore, in a sign that the acrimony of the past was buried.

The court also fined he three Reliance Companies, namely RCom, Reliance Telecom and Reliance InfraTel Rs one crore each after holding them guilty of contempt as well. Banks had opposed release of the tax refunds.

The Apex Court came down heavily on Anil Ambani and 2 directors who have surpassed all the deadlines in the case to repay the dues of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson India. It extracted a personal guarantee from Ambani to pay the dues.

On Monday, RCom shares fell 9.30% to ₹4.00 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.19% to end the day at 38,095.07 points.


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