Twin Star Technologies, a company promoted by Anil Agarwal’s Sterlite group, and Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio have expressed their interest in acquiring assets of Reliance Communications (RCom), currently undergoing insolvency proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for loan default. The billionaire duo will compete alongside other telecom majors such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea for the assets.
Apart from RCom’s rivals, expressions of interest (EoIs) have been submitted by TPG Asia, Assets Care and Reconstruction Enterprise, American Tower’s Indian subsidiary ATC Telecom Infrastructure, India Opportunities Investments Singapore, UV Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC), JC Flowers ARC, and Varde Partners, among others.
The entry of Agarwal, chairman of the Vedanta group, in the race for RCom
is interesting considering the group has significant presence in the global metals, mining and telecom cable space, where it manufactures high capacity, converged fibre and networking services and software through its listed arm, Sterlite Technologies.
referred itself to the NCLT
for insolvency proceedings after it failed to repay its debt worth Rs 45,000 crore.
The lenders and operational creditors made claims of Rs 57,382 crore as on June 13 this year. Of this, around Rs 49,223 crore worth of claims were admitted. The entry of Jio to acquire RCom
was expected considering that Jio made an offer to buy out RCom for Rs 18,000 crore but the deal did not go through due to lack of regulatory approvals.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are keen to acquire RCom’s assets assets, which include 122.4 MHz of 4G spectrum in the 800/900/1800/2100 MHz bands, 43,000 towers, 178,000 route km of fibre with a pan-India footprint, and 248 media convergence nodes.
These assets are expected to contribute significantly to the large scale roll-out of wireless and fibre to home and enterprise services by Jio or any other telecom major.