Got only Rs 790 cr from Jio deal so far, zero from fibre assets: RCom to SC

RCom Chairman Anil Ambani leaves after appearing in the Supreme Court in New Delhi on Wednesday | Photo: pti
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it has received only Rs 790 crore until now of the total Rs 18,100-crore it was supposed to get from the sale of its spectrum and related assets to elder brother Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio). The company also said it had also not received anything yet from the sale of its fibre assets and related infrastructure assets worth Rs 5,000 crore to Jio.

RCom had on August 27 last year, informed stock exchanges that it had completed the sale of its fibre assets and related infrastructure assets to Jio worth Rs 3,000 crore. "With successful completion of the fibre monetisation transaction, 178,000 kilometres of fibre stand transferred to RJIO," RCom had then said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

This transaction with Jio had come one week after RCom had completed another such transaction with Jio in which it had sold media convergence nodes and other related infrastructure worth Rs 2,000 crore to Jio.

The top court was hearing a contempt plea moved by Ericsson India against RCom Chairman Ambani and two of his top executives. In the third contempt petition moved against Ambani and his executives, Ericsson has alleged that RCom has failed to pay its Rs 550 crore due despite repeated assurances. After hearing all the parties for nearly 5.5 hours, a two judge bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran reserved their verdict.

The submissions by RCom on Wednesday came after Ericsson India accused it of delaying the Rs 550 crore due, despite having obtained Rs 790 crore and Rs 5,000 crore, respectively from the sale of its assets to Jio. RCom on Wednesday said the Rs 790 crore that came from the sale of assets went directly to an asset monetisation escrow account, of which Rs 774 crore was further paid to the Department of Telecom (DoT) in order to ensure the current spectrum licences that company is holding continued to remain alive and valid.

The spectrum licences being held by RCom, on which the deal with Jio hinged, would have been cancelled if the said payment was not made in time, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for RCom said.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel