NEW DELHI: Reliance Communications (RCom) on Tuesday made an offer of Rs 500 crore to creditor Ericsson to settle an ongoing dispute before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). While Ericsson had got the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to issue an insolvency order against RCom, the latter had petitioned the NCLAT for an urgent hearing.
On Tuesday, when the NCLAT’s two-judge bench headed by Justice SJ Mukhopadhyay heard RCom’s petition, the company’s advocates offered Ericsson an upfront payment. The bench also suggested a settlement between the parties noting that operational creditors like Ericsson may not get much from an insolvency process. The bench offered to give more time to both parties to come to an amicable settlement.
According to details submitted by Ericsson, it had total dues of Rs 978 crore, which have now increased to Rs 1,600 crore.
“If you want, we can allow settlement. Find out ways and means to solve the issue,” the bench said.
Tuesday’s developments come after the Mumbai bench of the NCLT had admitted an insolvency petition on May 15 filed by Ericsson against RCom and two of its subsidiaries seeking to recover unpaid dues.
Ericsson, which had signed a seven-year deal in 2014 to operate and manage RCom’s nationwide telecom network, had alleged that it had not been paid the dues.
Last September, the Swedish company had filed a petition in the NCLT’s Mumbai bench seeking liquidation of the telecom operator to recover Rs 1,150 crore that RCom allegedly owes it. The May 15 admission of the petition kickstarts a time-bound 180-day insolvency resolution process for RCom.
Meanwhile, the NCLAT will next hear the matter on May 30.
Reliance Infratel withdraws plea for asset sales
Reliance Infratel has reached agreement with its minority shareholder HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) to settle a dispute over non-payment of dues, paving the way for sale of the firm’s telecom tower business to clear bank loans. Following the development, the Anil Ambani led firm on Tuesday withdrew its petition from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal seeking permission to sell its tower and fibre assets. The move will allow debt-ridden Reliance Communications to proceed with asset monetisation by selling tower and fibre assets of Reliance Infratel Ltd