Anil Ambani’s RCom says committed to pay outstanding spectrum dues, as deal with Jio hangs in balance

Anil Ambani’s RCom says committed to pay outstanding spectrum dues, as deal with Jio hangs in balance

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications Ltd said on Wednesday that it remains committed to paying its outstanding dues, even as the telco’s proposed deal with Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio remains uncertain. RCom said it hopes to get long-awaited consent from DoT for its spectrum sale to Reliance Jio Infocomm.

“RCOM being a continuing licensee remains committed to discharge any outstanding or disputed amount subject to final adjudication,” RCom said in a notice to the stock exchanges. The move comes in a response to various media reports, saying that the Department of Communications (DoT) has rejected the deal as it does not conform to its guidelines.

“The requirement of giving the Bank Guarantee as per DoT demand has been substituted by the orders of the TDSAT and the Hon’ble Supreme Court with Reliance Realty Limited property non-disposal undertaking and corporate guarantee. Hence compliance with the Trading Guidelines is met,” RCom said in the filing with the stock exchanges.

RCom had entered into a deal Reliance Jio last year for the sale of wireless spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes assets – the proceeds of which were to be used to clear Rs 45,000 crore debt. The company has so far managed to complete the sale of optical fibre assets worth Rs 3,000 crore and sale of its media convergence nodes worth Rs 2,000 crore.

Last week, Reliance Jio reportedly met the Telecom Secretary to discuss outstanding dues concerns raised by DoT over the payment related to the deal between the two companies. Jio is learnt to be seeking assurance from the government that it should not be held liable for RCom’ past dues pertaining to telecom spectrum.

It may be noted that DoT has maintained its stance not to clear the deal unless it gets clarity on payment of dues and associated charges from the two companies.

Meanwhile, RCom has also missed its December 15 payment deadline to settle dues of unsecured lender Ericsson. RCom expects to get Rs 975 crore from sale of the spectrum which it has promised to pay dues of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson and Rs 230 crore to settle dues of minority stakeholder Reliance Infratel.

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has also adjourned the hearing to January 22 in the matter of Ericsson petition and RITL minority investors’ related settlement petition.

“NCLAT has adjourned the Ericsson matter to 22nd January 2019 to take into consideration the outcome of the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, where the related matter is pending consideration. RITL Minority Investor matter has also been adjourned to 22nd January 2019, the copy of detailed order is awaited,” it added.