New Delhi: Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) on Friday said the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had passed an interim order to allow the company to execute its Rs25,000 crore asset sale programme.
The development comes a day after the Supreme Court cancelled a Bombay high court order that had stayed the sale of the telecom firm’s assets.
“By an interim order... the NCLAT has vacated the remaining stay, and allowed execution of sale deeds and deposit of the proceeds with SBI (State Bank of India) in an escrow account. Based on these orders, RCom can now proceed with completion of its entire asset monetization plan, covering spectrum, towers, fibre, MCNs (media convergence nodes) and real estate," an RCom spokesperson said in a statement. RCom had moved the NCLAT on Friday seeking a cancellation of the stay on its planned sale of tower and fibre assets as directed by the Supreme Court, the spokesperson added.
“RCom is now very confident of achieving overall debt reduction of approximately Rs25,000 crore within the next few weeks," the spokesperson said, adding that the distribution of proceeds of only the tower and fibre assets will be subject to the final decision of the NCLAT on 18 April.
An NCLAT bench comprising S.J. Mukopadhaya was hearing Reliance Group unit Reliance Infratel’s appeal against an order of the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal, which prohibited it from selling its assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.
The 12 March stay order was passed in a plea by offshore investors of Reliance Infratel led by HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, alleging oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement for not taking their consent for the asset sale as per the articles of association of the company.
U.K. Chaudhary, appearing for Reliance Infratel, submitted that the sale had to be given effect as soon as possible as the value of assets was depreciating by the day.
The money received from the sale would be used to pay off Reliance Group companies’ Rs45,000 crore debt owed to various banks, he stated.
In December 2017, as a part of its debt resolution plan, Anil Ambani-led RCom struck a Rs25,000 crore deal with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio for the sale of its assets mortgaged with different banks, to avoid insolvency proceedings.
Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.