Pedestrians walk past a Reliance Communications Ltd. Mobile Store in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

RCom Closes $429 Million Fiber Sale to Jio as Deadline Looms

(Bloomberg) -- Reliance Communications Ltd., the Indian wireless carrier that’s trying to pay down debt, wrapped up the sale of its fiber and related infrastructure assets for 30 billion rupees ($429 million) to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

The Anil Ambani-helmed operator is transferring 178,000 kilometers of fiber to sibling billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s company, according to an exchange filing. Reliance Communications’ shares were down about 0.5 percent on Monday in Mumbai at 11:15 a.m., taking declines this year to 48 percent. S&P BSE Sensex was trading 1 percent higher.

The transaction comes as RCom, as the company is known, works to pare debt ahead of a deadline from the country’s central bank Aug. 27 for firms with delinquent accounts to provide a plan to pay creditors or face insolvency proceedings. The deal is part of a broader pact to sell most of its wireless assets to Reliance Jio.

Monday’s filing comes on the heels of announcements last week about completing the sale of transmission nodes to Reliance Jio for 20 billion rupees and securing dollar bond holders’ approval to pare its obligations. It’s yet to close sales of two large assets -- its airwaves and towers -- to Reliance Jio, which decided in December last year to buy these for about $2.5 billion.

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