Telecom operator Reliance Communications has presented a debt repayment plan to its lenders that will see banks converting some of its debt and take control of a majority 51% stake in the company, The Hindu reported on Monday.
RCom Executive Director Punit Garg was quoted as saying by The Economic Times that nearly Rs 7,000 crore of the Anil Ambani-led company’s total debt of over Rs 45,000 crore will be converted into equity. Promoter holding in Reliance Communications is expected to decline from 59% to to 26%.
The company’s share price surged 16% in early trading on Tuesday after the development. At 11.30 am, it was up 8.25%.
The lenders invoked the Strategic Debt Reduction mechanism after the operator missed payments, BloombergQuint reported. The company had won a temporary reprieve when it announced its plan to merge its wireless business with Aircel and sell a majority stake in its tower arm, but that deal fell through earlier in October after failing to get regulatory approvals.
The banks will attempt to sell the company to a strategic investor by December 2018. But till then, a “standstill agreement” is in place with regard to the repayment of principal and interest, Garg was quoted as saying by BloombergQuint. Once the sale is completed, the Reliance Group will become a public shareholder in RCom, he said.
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is likely to bid for RCom’s assets when the lenders begin the sale process, according to The Hindu. “They [Jio] do not want to deal directly but have shown interest in bidding for many of our assets in a transparent manner,” Garg told the daily.