Reliance Jio has emerged as the highest bidder for mobile tower and optical fibre assets of Reliance Infratel by placing bids of around Rs 3,600 crore, according to banking sources privy to the development. Bharti Airtel has placed a bid of around Rs 1,800 crore for the same, according to the sources.
"Reliance Infratel's tower and fibre is likely to go to Reliance Jio as its bid of Rs 3,600 crore is the highest and the company has committed to make the payment in 60 days. Bharti Airtel has placed a bid of Rs 1,800 crore for the same," a banking source said.
Another source privy to the development said the process of finalising the bids will take a minimum of one-two weeks as committee of creditors (CoC) will meet all the bidders and negotiate with them and then vote on it. Bharti Airtel has also made conditional bid for spectrum of Reliance Communications (RCom).
The sources said the conditions placed by Bharti Airtel will make it difficult for the resolution professional (RP) to close the process by January 10 as directed by the National Company Law Tribunal. Reliance Jio did not bid for RCom spectrum.
VFSI Holdings Pte Ltd and UV Asset Reconstruction Company Limited have also submitted their bids for the assets of RCom. RCom's secured debt is estimated to be around Rs 33,000 crore. Lenders have submitted claims of around Rs 49,000 crore in August.
Reliance Communications, which is undergoing insolvency proceedings, has put all its assets for sale, which include spectrum holding of 122 MHz that the company before insolvency proceedings estimated to be around Rs 14,000 crore, tower business worth Rs 7,000 crore, optical fibre network worth Rs 3,000 crore and data centres worth Rs 4,000 crore. According to an NCLT order, RP has to complete the process by January 10, 2020.
RCom in the past has tried to sell assets to various companies, including Reliance Jio, to clear debts but the deals did not crystallise. Reliance Jio cancelled the agreement to buy RCom assets as it did not want to bear the previous liabilities of the debt-ridden firm. Later, the insolvency proceeding against RCom was started on a plea filed by Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson after the company failed to clear its dues.
RCom Chairman Anil Ambani had tendered his resignation after the company posted a consolidated loss of Rs 30,142 crore for July-September 2019 due to provisioning for liabilities after the Supreme Court ruling on statutory dues. This was the second-highest loss posted by any Indian company till date. The CoC has, however, rejected Ambani's resignation and asked to cooperate in insolvency proceedings.