The financial and legal woes of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Telecom (RCom) don’t seem to be ending any time soon. While the company and Anil Ambani would be hoping that the next hearing at the National Company Law Tribunal slated for October 26 will clear up the mess to a great extent, it has to keep its fingers crossed since there are debtors keen to get their dues from RCom and not ready to wait. One 97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, for example, is one of the companies that has moved a case in the insolvency court against Reliance Telecom for recovery of Rs 20 crore owed to it by the now defunct company. Possibly the two entities tried settling through talks but could not succeed.
When the company decided to down shutters it had an outstanding debt of Rs 46,000 crore. In a major deal with brother Mukesh Ambani, Anil managed to secure a deal worth Rs 18,000 crore by selling off its assets to Reliance Infocomm which operates the Jio telecommunications service. A Canadian asset management company Brookfield is also expected to be part of this deal.
But even this deal is dependent on RCom’s ability to convince the Department of Telecom in the Ministry of Telecommunications on the payments the company owes the government towards Spectrum charges. Unless it settles with the Ministry on the Spectrum issue, the big deal with Jio cannot go through as well. There is a hearing at the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on this issue which might indicate the way forward for the beleaguered company.
The other big threat hanging over its head is the settlement of Rs 500 crore payable to Swedish Telecom before September 30, failing which that company may also approach the courts. An amount of Rs 232 crore remains to be paid to minority shareholders.
In the midst of all these is the case filed by Paytm’s parent company One 97 Communications.