Supreme Court lifts stay on Reliance Communications asset sale

The Supreme Court on Thursday provided partial relief to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) when it lifted a stay on asset sales of the company.

The Bench presided over by Justice A K Goel passed the order on the cross appeals moved by RCom and the consortium of 24 banks, led by State Bank of India, against the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order staying the sale of  all assets  of the debt-ridden telecom company. 

“The Supreme Court today (on Thursday) lifted the stay granted in favour of Ericsson by the Bombay High Court, in relation to asset sales by RCOM. The Honourable SC has directed that secured lenders can proceed with the asset sales in accordance with law. Accordingly, there is now no bar in immediately completing the asset sales of spectrum, MCNs and real estate, and the same shall be concluded expeditiously,” RCom said in a statement. 

The court heard two sets of cases relating to asset sales. The arbitration tribunal, in an interim order, had stayed the sale of assets such as airwaves and telecom towers. RCom appealed against it and moved the Bombay high court but it was rejected. 

The Supreme Court has now allowed the sale of telecom towers in accordance with law. The other assets include spectrum, cell towers, and fibre optic lines.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court asked RCom to approach the appellate tribunal to vacate the sale of assets passed by the NCLT. Therefore, the company is not entirely out of difficulties. It wants to sell its assets to Reliance Jio for Rs 240 billion to clear debts to lenders estimated at Rs 420 billion.

With inputs from PTI

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