Pedestrians use smartphones near advertising for Reliance Jio Infocomm. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

RCom, Reliance Jio Extend Validity Of Asset Sale Pact To June 28

Reliance Communications Ltd. and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. announced that they have extended the terms of an agreement for sale of wireless assets of the Anil Ambani-owned company.

The move comes at a time Reliance Communications’ spectrum sale deal has been hanging fire, pending requisite clearance from the telecom department.

“Reliance Jio extended the term of the definitive agreement for the acquisition of specified assets of Reliance Communications and its affiliates to June 28, 2019,” Reliance Industries said in a regulatory filing.

The acquisition is subject to receipt of requisite approvals from government and regulatory authorities, consents from all lenders, release of all encumbrances on the said assets and other conditions, it said.

Reliance Communications, in a separate filing, said the company and Reliance Jio have “extended the validity of the agreements signed on Dec. 28, 2017 for sale of towers, fiber, multi-channel networks and spectrum of RCom and its affiliates to June 28, 2019”. “The transactions are to be consummated subject to various approvals that are in progress.”

RCom has been urging the telecom department to grant it the “long-awaited no-objection certificate” to comply with a Supreme Court order in “letter and spirit”.

Senior officials of RCom and Reliance Jio had also met the telecom secretary this month to discuss outstanding issues raised by Department of Telecom over payment related to spectrum sale deal between the two companies.

The Anil Ambani-owned company had maintained that it remains committed to discharging any outstanding or disputed amount subject to final adjudication.

Reliance Communications had earlier asserted that the requirement of giving bank guarantee as per DoT’s demand has been substituted by the orders of the telecom tribunal and the Supreme Court, and that its unit Reliance Realty had provided a non-disposal undertaking and corporate guarantee.

“Hence, compliance with the trading guidelines is met,” RCom had asserted in an earlier statement.

However, the DoT has, so far, held to its position that the deal cannot be cleared unless there is clarity on payment of dues and associated charges, particularly as the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has refused to take any payment liability of his younger sibling’s RCom to conclude the spectrum trading deal between the two firms.

Also read: Jio May Top India's Mobile Phone Market by 2021: Bernstein