RCom-Aircel Merger Called Off

Mumbai: Reliance Communications, which is not at ease because of a debt of about Rs 46,000 crore, has called off merger talks with Aircel due to “legal and regulatory” delays.

“Merger of mobile business of RCom and Aircel lapses with mutual consent,” pointed out the Anil Ambani-led firm said in a statement.

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“Legal and regulatory uncertainties, and various interventions by vested interests, have caused inordinate delays in receipt of relevant approvals for the proposed transaction,” it said.

“Unprecedented competitive intensity in the Indian telecom sector together with fresh policy directives, adversely impacting bank financing for this sector, have also seriously affected industry dynamics. As a result of the various factors aforesaid, the merger agreement has lapsed,” RCom said.

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According to the sources, RCom now plans to monetise prime real estate in Mumbai and Delhi as well as telecom tower and optic fibre assets by December to avoid lenders converting a part of their debt into equity.

“RCom already has the unique advantage of capital light access to India’s most extensive world class nationwide 4G mobile network through spectrum sharing and ICR (intra-circle roaming) Agreements with Reliance Jio,” it said.

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The company also expects to realise Rs. 11,000 crores from sale of its tower business.