RIL, Airtel expected to bid for Anil Ambani-led RCom’s assets

Reliance Industries (RIL) and Bharti Airtel are likely to bid for the assets of debt-ridden Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) and its related companies on Monday. The RCom committee of creditors (CoC) is also scheduled to meet on November 25. The bids close on Monday and the committee would open the bids for discussions on the same day.

The companies that are up for grabs under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) process are RCom, Reliance Telecom that has the spectrum, Reliance Telecom Infrastructure that has the tower and fibre assets, as well as subsidiaries that control RCom’s real estate and data centre businesses.

According to reports, five bidders are expected to submit their bids for RCom on Monday. “Varde Partners, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries, UV Asset Reconstruction Company (UVARCL) are among the main contenders for RCom assets,” sources aware of the development told PTI. Reliance Industries will submit its bid through its subsidiary. UVARCL had earlier bid for Aircel’s assets.

As per the news agency, Bharti Airtel that had withdrawn its earlier bid after the CoC granted an extension of 10 days is expected to put in a fresh bid. “All the bidders will be submitting separate bids for RCom, RTL and RTIL. There will be minimum nine bids from four bidders,” another source said. Private equity firm I Squared Capital is bidding for RCom’s Data Centres and Optic Fibre assets, according to the report.

RCom’s secured debt is estimated to be around Rs 33,000 crore. Lenders had submitted claims of around Rs 49,000 crore in August.

As per NCLT order, resolution professional (RP) has to complete the process by 10 January 2020.

RCom in the past had tried to sell assets to various companies, including Reliance Jio, to clear debt but the deals did not follow through. Reliance Jio refused to buy the RCom assets, including spectrum, as it did not want to bear the past liabilities of the debt-ridden firm.

Later, the insolvency proceedings against RCom started on a plea filed by Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson after the company failed to clear its dues.

RCom Chairman Anil Ambani had tendered his resignation after the company posted a consolidated loss of Rs 30,142 crore for July-September 2019 due to provisioning for liabilities after the Supreme Court ruling on statutory dues. This was the second-highest loss posted by any Indian corporate till date. The CoC has, however, rejected Ambani’s resignation and asked to cooperate in insolvency proceedings.