RCom says to appeal NCLT order against Reliance Infratel asset sale
NCLT has stayed the Reliance Infratel asset sale, part of the larger RCom-Jio deal, in response to a petition filed by investor HSBC Daisy Investments
Mumbai: In a setback for Reliance Infratel Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Communications Ltd, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has continued the stay on the sale of its assets to Reliance Jio until further order.
The tribunal was hearing the plea filed by HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, who is alleging oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement.
On Monday, NCLT had allowed the amendment application of offshore investors to make changes to their original petition seeking a stay on sale of Reliance Infratel’s assets.
The tribunal also posted the hearing on investors’ contempt petition on 6 April.
“We intend to file an appeal immediately before the NCLAT for the vacation of the stay, to protect the interests of our secured lenders,” said an RCom spokesperson in an email response to Mint query. “It is to be noted the stay granted by NCLT today relates only to RCOM’s tower and fibre assets and does not apply to spectrum, MCNs, real estate, etc.”
The RCom spokesperson further said that “We expect our secured lenders to also take appropriate steps for the expeditious completion of processes transparently run by lenders for monetisation of their securities, and realisation of their dues.”
“As legally advised, the claims of minority investors and/or unsecured vendors cannot under any circumstances rank in higher priority than the undisputed claims of secured domestic and international lenders, and any stay granted in this regard is not defensible in law and liable to be vacated,” the RCom spokesperson further added.
HSBC Daisy and other investors had originally approached the tribunal in 2015 against the proposed merger of Reliance Infratel with its parent company Reliance Communications.
Currently, the investors were opposing the transaction on the grounds that once the deal with Jio goes through, the company in which they had invested around Rs1,100 crore will become defunct. In July 2007, HSBC Daisy Investment along with a clutch of other investors had invested around Rs1,100 crore in Reliance Infratel for about 5% stake, which has now come down to 4.26%.
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.
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