New Delhi: Reliance Communications said Wednesday it has got relief from telecom tribunal and can now complete its planned spectrum sale, whose proceeds will be used to make payments to Ericsson India and RITL minority investors. RCom, in a regulatory filing to the BSE, said it will receive Rs 975 crore from sale of spectrum, and that it will pay Ericsson Rs 550 crore and RITL (Reliance Infratel) minority investors Rs 230 crore from the spectrum trading proceeds. “Reliance Communications has been granted relief by the…Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) vide its interim order dated 1 October 2018, whereby…TDSAT has stayed the demand of bank guarantee of Rs 2,900 crore by the Department of Telecommunications,” it said.
The Anil Ambani promoted RCom noted it had challenged the “unjustly sought security for the alleged demands” by the Telecom Department with regard to spectrum usage charges. “After multiple hearings since August 28, 2018 the Hon’ble TDSAT, vide its interim order dated October 1, 2018 has stayed the said demand and directed DoT to expeditiously grant its approval for trading of the spectrum,” RCom added. The debt-laden firm pointed out that 38 secured lenders of the group have already approved the sale of the said spectrum. “…and the proceeds thereof will be used for making payments to Ericsson India Private Limited and to RITL Minority Investors, as per settlement terms,” it said.
The company, yesterday, said it had learnt that unsecured creditor Ericsson India had filed a contempt petition on October 1, in Supreme Court in relation to the settlement amount of Rs 550 crore to be paid by RCom. RCom had also stated that it filed an application on September 28 in the apex court seeking 60 more days for making payment to the Swedish telecom equipment maker.
That matter is slated to be heard on October 4, it pointed out. “The extension has been sought purely due to the fact that, as approved by 38 secured lenders, and as per RCOM’s undertaking, Ericsson is to be paid from the sales proceeds of spectrum being traded by RCom, and such sale could not be completed as yet owing to factors beyond the control of RCOM,” RCom has stated in the filing on Tuesday.
The company was, at that time, awaiting the copy of the order passed by TDSAT. Last year, Reliance Communications (RCom) signed a pact with Reliance Jio for sale of wireless spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes assets – the proceeds of which were to be used to pare debt. From that deal, RCom has thus far announced the completion of the sale of optical fibre assets worth Rs 3,000 crore and sale of its media convergence nodes worth Rs 2,000 crore to Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Jio Infocomm.