Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel submit bids for RCom assets
25 November 2019
Rivals Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd have submitted bids for acquiring the assets of debt-laden Reliance Communications Ltd. Besides, private investment funds, including Varde Partners, infrastructure-focused I Squared Capital fundand , are set to compete for Reliance Communications’ assets, bids for which will be opened Monday.
UV Asset Reconstruction CompanyandUV Asset Reconstruction Companyare expected to have submitted bids for RCom’s assets on the last day for submitting the bids.
The resolution professional appointed for RCom insolvency resolution, Anish Niranjan Nanavaty, had extended the deadline for submitting bids by ten days, which ends today (Monday).
“Monday is the last day for submitting bids and the bids will be opened on that day itself," the Mint newspaper quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying.
While Airtel and Jio are expected to bid mainly for RCom's 850 MHz spectrum, I Squared Capital is likely to vie for the telco's data centres and optic fibre assets. RCom's 43,000 towers, housed under Reliance Infratel, are also up for sale.
Bharti, reports said, is likely to have submitted its bids with Bharti Infratel in which it holds 33.57 per cent stake. Airtel had submitted its bid earlier as well but had withdrawn it in protest against Nanavaty’s decision to give another ten days for bid submission on Reliance Jio’s request.
A group of 40 lenders, including the State Bank of India, the China Development Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, have invested heavily in the beleaguered Anil Ambani group company.
Reliance Communications’ assets include spectrum, tower, fibre and real estate housed under its subsidiaries Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel.
Reliance Jio, promoted by Anil’s elder brother Mukesh Ambani, had last year agreed to buy its Reliance Communications’ assets that included its spectrum, 43,000 telecom towers and 1.78-lakh route km of optical fibre line. Reliance Jio, however, failed to secure requisite clearances from the department of telecommunications.
The resolution professional had on 13 November received bids from firms including the Sunil Mittal-controlled Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel and PE firm Varde Partners. Reliance Communications has a total secured debt of about ?33,000 crore.
Anil Ambani had on 16 November, along with four other directors, had resigned from the company. But the lenders rejected the resignations on Saturday, requesting Ambani and the other officials to cooperate in the insolvency proceedings against the company.