Supreme Court stays NCLAT order on RCom asset sale

Barely 10 days after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) permitted Reliance Communications to sell its tower and fibre assets, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed the order for another two days. The apex court ruled that RCom should await the appellate tribunal’s Wednesday ruling before closing the sale.

RCom, on its part, said the company remains confident of completing its ₹25,000-crore asset monetisation programme within the next few weeks.

“There is no legal restriction any more on the company to proceed with sale of its spectrum, Media Convergence Nodes (MCN) and real estate, and RCom is duly proceeding with the same. The NCLAT may determine the allocation, if any, of the sale proceeds to minority shareholders claiming an interest of about 4 per cent,” an RCom spokesperson said in a statement.

RCom’s towers and fibre are held by Reliance Infratel Ltd (RITL), an RCom subsidiary.

On March 12, NCLT had stayed RITL’s asset sales (tower and fibre) till April 6, on a petition filed by HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, which along with a clutch of other investors holds about 5 per cent stake in the company. HSBC Daisy had accused the company of “oppression of minority shareholders and mismanagement”.

NCLAT had vacated this stay on April 6, a day after after the Supreme Court vacated a stay granted by the Bombay High Court permitting the company to proceed with for its earlier announced wireless assets sale. The appellate tribunal has posted the case for April 18 for final hearing and to decide on the allocation of proceeds.

Later on April 9, HSBC Daisy moved the Supreme Court, challenging the NCLAT order.

On December 28, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) had entered into an agreement to acquire the wireless assets of debt-laden RCom, controlled by his younger sibling, Anil. RJio had emerged the successful bidder to acquire RCom’s 43,000 towers, 1.78-lakh route km of optical fibre cable network, 122.4 MHz of spectrum in the 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands and 248 MCN.

After the news, RCom shares closed down 5.38 per cent at ₹21.10 on the BSE, on a steady BSE which closed up 0.33 per cent on Monday. RCom’s shares rose as ₹22.40 in mid-day trade.

Source: The Hindu