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

Supreme Court Stays NCLAT Order On RCom’s Tower Assets Sale To Jio

The Supreme Court stayed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal's order allowing the sale of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications Ltd.'s tower assets to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

The apex court today agreed to hear a plea by minority shareholders, including HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) Ltd., challenging the sale of assets of RCom's tower unit - Reliance Intratel Ltd. The HSBC unit had moved the apex court on April 9 against the NCLAT’s order that allowed bankers to sell mortgaged tower assets. HSBC Daisy Investments and other minority shareholders together own a little over 4 percent in Reliance Infratel.

The tribunal will hear the matter on April 18, an RCom spokesperson said in a press release. The claim of minority investors in the tower and fiber proceeds can be in the range of Rs 200-300 crore, the company added.

There is no legal restriction on the company to proceed with sale of its spectrum, MCNs and real estate, the release said. “RCom remains confident of completion of its asset monetisation programme of approx. Rs 25,000 crore within the next few weeks, in the best interests of its secured lenders.”

The NCLAT had allowed banks to enter into a sale agreement for RCom’s assets on April 6 and ordered the proceeds of the sale be held in an escrow account until it decides on a dispute with HSBC Daisy and others.

Reliance Communications informed exchanges on April 5 that lifting the stay on asset sales would help it pare debt by about Rs 25,000 crore “within the next few weeks” in the first phase of its asset monetization plan. RCom had signed an agreement with Reliance Jio in December to sell spectrum, mobile towers, fiber network and media convergence nodes.

RCom shares fell as much as 4.7 percent to Rs 21.2 before paring losses. The stock has fallen close to 40 percent in 2018.