New Delhi: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has submitted conditional bids of around Rs 9,500 crore for debt-ridden Reliance Communications’ telecom assets, including spectrum, mobile towers and optical fibre, according to an industry source.
Along with Bharti Airtel, VFSI Holdings Pte Ltd and UV Asset Reconstruction Company Limited have submitted their bids. “Bharti Airtel seems to be the highest bidder with bids of around Rs 9,500 crore. However, the final result will be known after the committee of creditors (CoC) opens all the bids,” the source said.
E-mail query sent to Bharti Airtel did not elicit any reply. Reliance Jio had asked for more time to submit bids but the company did not turn up even after the CoC extended the deadline to suit its interest. I Squared Capital, which was expected to buy RCom’s data centre and optical fibre, also did not submit bids. RCom’s secured debt is estimated to be around Rs 33,000 crore. Lenders have submitted claims of around Rs 49,000 crore in August.
Reliance Communications has put all its assets for sale, which include spectrum holding of 122 MHz that the company before insolvency proceedings estimated to be around Rs 14,000 crore, tower business worth Rs 7,000 crore, optical fibre network worth Rs 3,000 crore and data centres worth Rs 4,000 crore.
According to an NCLT order, resolution professional (RP) has to complete the process by 10 January 2020. RCom in the past has tried to sell assets to various companies, including Reliance Jio, to clear debts but the deals did not crystallise. Reliance Jio cancelled the agreement to buy RCom assets as it did not want to bear the previous liabilities of the debt-ridden firm. Later, the insolvency proceeding against RCom was 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 company till date. The CoC has, however, rejected Ambani’s resignation and asked to cooperate in insolvency proceedings.