Home/ Companies / News/  Jio deposits 3,720 cr to  take over Rel  Infratel

NEW DELHI : Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has deposited 3,720 crore into an escrow account as part of the process to acquire the assets of Reliance Infratel Ltd, the tower and fibre business of bankrupt Reliance Communications Ltd, under an insolvency process.

The largest Indian wireless operator has deposited the amount in a State Bank of India escrow account as of Thursday, people familiar with the matter said, requesting anonymity. With this, Jio will have completed the acquisition of Reliance Communications’ tower and fibre assets housed under Reliance Infratel.

Reliance Projects and Property Management Services, a unit of Reliance Jio, moved a fresh petition at the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai, on 6 November to complete the acquisition of Reliance Infratel. The Jio unit has proposed to invest 3,500 crore in an escrow account to be distributed among creditors once the inter-creditor disputes over the distribution of funds are resolved.

Reliance Projects said the delay in implementing the resolution plan was leading to the deterioration of the assets of Reliance Infratel. The assets include more than 43,500 towers and over 170,000 km of fibre network. It had sought the tribunal’s permission to “deposit the total resolution amount in an account with SBI" and asked the court to direct the parties involved “that upon such deposit, the resolution plan shall stand implemented and the applicant shall acquire ownership and control of Reliance Infratel in terms of the resolution plan."

The company added that “the value of the assets of the corporate debtor (Reliance Infratel) will deteriorate if urgent action is not taken towards implementation." NCLT approved the proposal on 21 November.

Reliance Projects placed a bid of 4,000 crore in November 2019. In November 2020, SBI, Union Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank tagged Reliance Infratel as a “fraud account" following a forensic audit. The bankers’ committee approved the resolution plan in December 2020. However, SBI and a few other banks, including Doha Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Emirates Bank, are engaged in a legal battle over the distribution of funds. The matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Updated: 22 Dec 2022, 10:39 PM IST
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