The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had granted the sale of Reliance Communication Limited’s tower assets to Reliance Jio. However, in its ruling today, the Supreme Court has stayed the order, stalling the sale by the Anil Ambani-led loss-making venture to the telecom giant.
The stay follows the plea by minority shareholder HSBC Daisy Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, which holds little over four percent in Reliance Infratel. The company moved the apex court earlier this month on April 9 against the NCLAT’s order that permitted the sale of assets. The order allowed bankers to sell mortgaged tower assets to the Mukesh Ambani-led company, Bloomberg Quint reports.
The NCLAT had allowed banks to enter into the sale agreement 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. As the apex court has decided to hear the plea by HSBC Daisy, it will make RCom’s efforts at paring its own debt of Rs 45,000 crore challenging.
RCom had signed a pact to sell its wireless assets, including tower and optic fibre assets, to Reliance Jio for about Rs 25,000 crore. This included the towers and optic fibre assets, which are worth around Rs 8,000 crore, of which Rs 5,000 crore is said to be for the towers and land.
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The company had informed exchanges earlier this month that lifting the stay on the sale of assets would have helped the company pay off part of the debt within the next few weeks. Following the report on the stay order, RCom shares slumped close to 4.7 percent to Rs 21.2 before paring losses.