RCom terminates asset sale deal with Reliance Jio

RCom terminates asset sale deal with Reliance Jio

RCom terminates asset sale deal with Reliance Jio

Billionaire businessman Anil Ambani on Monday thanked his brother Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani for extending "timely support" after his firm Reliance Communication - which is facing massive debt - managed to successfully clear all payments due to Ericsson less than 24 hours before the expiry of Supreme Court's deadline.

The apex court on February 20 had held Ambani guilty of contempt of court and ordered the debt-laden company to clear the dues to Ericsson within four weeks or face a 3-month jail term.

Anil D Ambani, chairman, RCOM, said, "My honest and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support".

Once worth at least $55 billion, India's Anil Ambani has about a day to piece together $80 million to settle long-pending dues with a vendor or go to prison. Batista gained the rare distinction of " negative billionaire" in 2015 when his net worth sank to more than $1 billion in debt.

RCom is committed to a comprehensive resolution of its overall debt, with transparency, certainty and finality, through the NCLT process, it concluded.

The judges warned that Ambani would be jailed for three months if 4.5 billion Indian rupees were not stumped up within a month.

Shares of Reliance Communications fell by nearly 10 per cent on India's Bombay Stock Exchange at the close of markets on Monday, just the latest sharp dip.

But the deal could not progress amid regulatory hurdles faced as the Department of Telecommunications wanted a written assurance on who would pay for RCom's dues such as spectrum fee. After the case reached the Supreme Court, Reliance Communications was given two deadlines to repay dues, but the company missed both. Anil Ambani lost the vast majority of his wealth as his businesses strained to generate revenue as they battled price competition, regulatory bottlenecks and high debt that led to a cash squeeze. The nation's policy makers and courts have been cracking down on delinquency to help banks saddled with the world's worst bad-loan ratio. In 2005, the two settled the feud by agreeing to carve up the empire into two.

RCom called off the sale of its telecom assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm, the mobile telecoms firm controlled by Mukesh Ambani, citing failure to get approvals from lenders and the government. His nationwide 4G network, which debuted with free services in 2016, has disrupted the industry, forcing rivals including RCom to bleed, merge or exit the business.

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