Mumbai: The stock exchanges have sought clarification from Reliance Communications Ltd today, with reference to media reports that say Reliance Communications and Ericcson have informed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that they are in settlement talks and have requested NCLT to keep the insolvency order on RCom in abeyance.
The tribunal admitted the petition on May 15 which could potentially result in delaying RCom's plans to sell assets to lighten its debt load.
Ericsson has had 9,000 employees working on RCom and its subsidiaries and has not received RCom's unpaid dues despite many promises and re-negotiations on payment schedules.
RCom can appeal the verdict with a tribunal in New Delhi.
With debt of Rs 45,733 crore ($6.7 billion) at the end of March 2017, RCom is the most-leveraged of all listed telecoms carriers in India. However, the company refused to comment on the matter saying that its next move will be dictated after studying the court order carefully.
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Jio has tower, fibre and airwaves sharing pacts with RCom and could suffer some loss of competitiveness if a rival were to secure the beleaguered operators' assets.
Worries about the ability of, as the company is widely known, to repay its near $7 billion debt to Indian and foreign banks have been mounting for more than a year. The issue for bankers is that under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code an insolvency resolution needs to be completed in nine months, after which the company has to be liquidated.
The company shut down its consumer mobile business late previous year unable to survive the aggressive pricing strategy adopted by Reliance Jio which offered free voice and undercut the prices of data plans.
RCom shares closed down 8.2 per cent on Tuesday in a broader Mumbai market that ended largely unchanged. Last year, courtroom battles were one of the main reasons its merger deal with Aircel and the tower sale to Brookfield did not go through.