Reliance Communications (RCom) is part of Anil-Ambani-led Reliance Group. (Mint)
Reliance Communications (RCom) is part of Anil-Ambani-led Reliance Group. (Mint)

RCom pays 460 crore to settle Ericsson dues

  • RCom's payout to Ericsson potentially saves billionaire Anil Ambani and two RCom directors from a jail term
  • RCom owes a total 571 crore billion rupees to Ericsson, including a one-time settlement of 550 crore

Mumbai: Ericsson SA has received 462 crore ($67.42 million) from Indian telecom firm Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom), the Swedish company said on Monday, potentially saving billionaire Anil Ambani and two RCom directors from a jail term.

Late last month, the Supreme Court found Anil Ambani, chairman of the debt-laden firm, guilty of contempt of court for wilfully failing to pay the Swedish telecom equipment maker. SC had ordered Ambani and two RCom directors to pay Ericsson 450 crore within four weeks or face a three-month jail term for contempt of court.

RCom, which owes a total 571 crore to Ericsson, including a one-time settlement of 550 crore and interest payments of about 15 crore, had already deposited 118 crore with the Supreme Court in February.

The Swedish firm signed a deal in 2014 to manage and operate RCom's network and last year approached the court over the unpaid dues.

RCom has struggled for cash partly a result of a price war triggered by market entrance of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, controlled by Anil Ambani's elder brother and Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

RCom had also sought approval from its lenders to release tax refunds of a further 260 crore to Ericsson.

Additionally, the company was also looking at selling its real estate assets to pay Ericsson, people aware of the matter had told Reuters in February.

RCom did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

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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