Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Varde Partners and UV Asset Reconstruction Company have submitted bids for all three assets of Reliance Communications (RCom), sources with knowledge of the development told FE.
However, one of the four bidders has not bid for the bankrupt company’s spectrum. FE could not immediately ascertain which bidder abstained from bidding for spectrum. Bharti Airtel, which had withdrawn its bid for RCom assets last week, objecting the CoC’s decision to extend the bids submission deadline by 10 days on reportedly Reliance Jio’s request, did submit the bid on Monday.
“The bids will be evaluated over the next 2-3 days,” said a source. The winning bids are likely to be disclosed in the committee of creditors (CoC) meeting on Friday. The US-based private equity firm, I Squared Capital, which had also shown interest in acquiring RCom’s data centres and optic fibre assets, did not submit a bid.
The last date to submit the bids was Monday, after the CoC of RCom had extended the bids submission deadline from the previous date of November 12 to November 25.
As part of the insolvency proceedings, all of RCom’s assets were put up for sale, including spectrum holding of 122 MHz estimated to be around Rs 14,000 crore, towers business for Rs 7,000 crore, optic fibre network Rs 3,000 crore and data centres worth Rs 4,000 crore. The resolution professional (RP) had asked for bids from interested bidders for spectrum in the 850 MHz band used in 4G in 14 of India’s 22 telecom circles, around 43,000 telecom towers and fibre.
Since June 28, 2019, RCom’s affairs, business and assets are being managed by the RP, Anish Niranjan Nanavaty, appointed by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai.
The insolvency proceedings follow an application filed by Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson. The NCLT had directed the RP to conclude the sale of RCom’s assets by January 10, 2020. The last date for submitting bids was November 25. The earlier deadline of November 12 was extended at the request of RelianceJio.
The stressed telco’s total debt to financial creditors stands at Rs 51,141 crore with the secured debt estimated at Rs 33,000 crore. Lenders had submitted claims of around Rs 49,000 crore in August. RCom’s total liability includes Rs 23,327 crore worth of licence fees and Rs 4,987 crore on account of spectrum usage charges.
RCom posted a consolidated loss of Rs 30,147 crore for the September 2019 quarter, providing, like peers Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, for liabilities on statutory dues to the tune of Rs 28,314 crore.
Source: Financial Express, November 26, 2019