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SC defers nod for RCom asset sale

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MUMBAI: The Supreme Court today did not grant permission to Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) to sell its wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, deferring the case for two weeks.

The ruling marks a setback for RCom, which is trying to reduce its debt worth $6.8 billion and pay back its creditors. The Supreme Court set a hearing for April 5 to continue examining whether it will allow the sale to go through despite an ongoing legal challenge filed by Swedish telecom gearmaker Ericsson at an arbitration tribunal. The Swedish company had sought the court's help to prevent RCom from selling assets without its permission.

“In view of the intervening court holidays on 29th and 30th March 2018, the matter has been fixed for hearing in the subsequent week on Thursday, 5th April 2018,” RCom’s release to the BSE stated.

State Bank of India, one of RCom's biggest creditors, had filed a petition to the apex court to allow the sale to go through even as Ericsson's case remained at the arbitration tribunal.

RCom, controlled by Anil Ambani, had decided in December to sell its wireless assets to Jio in a deal pegged at $3.8 billion, according to market sources. 

COMMENTS

“As legally advised, RCom remains confident that its asset monetisation programme will be  completed  expeditiously  to protect  the  interests  of its secured  lenders,  much  in advance of the time limit of 31st August 2018 prescribed by the RBI for resolution of such cases,” the release added.

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