New Delhi: HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) Ltd moved the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, challenging an order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that cleared the execution of the Rs25,000 crore sale of Reliance Communications (RCom) assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio).
The matter was mentioned before a bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Rohinton F. Nariman. The case will be heard on 19 April.
On 6 April, without vacating the stay on the sale and transfer of Reliance Infratel Ltd’s tower and fibre assets, NCLAT had allowed lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to go ahead with the deal in favour of Reliance Jio Infocomm.
However, NCLAT chairperson justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya asked the joint lenders' forum to deposit the sale proceeds in a separate escrow account. It also directed the parties to cooperate with the execution of sale deeds if SBI intends to.
“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 had said in a statement.
“Taking into consideration the fact that if the impugned order is stayed it will amount to grant of final relief, while we are not inclined to stay the impugned order for the present, give liberty to SBI/conveners of joint lenders to reach agreement to sale/sale deed with regard to the mortgaged properties of the company with any reliable purchaser and will keep the amount in a separate escrow account, which shall be subject to the decision of the appeal. If the SBI intends to execute the sale deed, the parties will cooperate with it", the order held.
The appellate tribunal had passed an order on Reliance Group unit Reliance Infratel’s appeal against an order of the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which prohibited it from selling its assets to Reliance Jio.
The 12 March stay order by NCLT 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. NCLAT’s order of 6 April had come a day after the Supreme Court set aside a Bombay high court order that had stayed the sale of the telecom firm’s assets.
While RCom owes a total of Rs45,000 crore to its lenders, total dues to SBI as on 28 February stood at Rs4,027 crore.
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.
The matter will be heard on 19 April.
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.