Industry

Day ahead of deadline, Anil Ambani’s RCom pays ₹4.62 billion to Ericsson

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Reliance Communications on Monday paid ₹460 crore to Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, a day ahead of the March 19 deadline set by the Supreme Court. Failure to adhere to the deadline would have invited a three-month jail term to Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani.

Monday’s development came even as RCom and RJio terminated the ₹25,000-crore telecom deal signed in December 2017 for sale of spectrum, optic fibre, telecom towers and media convergence nodes (MCNs) by mutual agreement. A close confidante of Mr. Anil Ambani confirmed to The Hindu that RCom had paid Ericsson ₹460 crore.

In February, the apex court held Mr. Ambani and two directors guilty of contempt of court, on a petition filed by Ericsson.

Rejecting RCom’s unconditional apology, the two-judge bench had held that it had no intention of paying the money it owed Ericsson, and set March 19 as the deadline to make the payment, failing which its directors would have to face jail term.

Ericsson confirms

Confirming receipt of the payments, an Ericsson official said, “We have received an amount of ₹458 crore net of tax by RCom today. Earlier, they had paid ₹118 crore, so we have received a total of ₹576 crore, including interest.”

Following the development, BSNL, another creditor of RCom with outstanding dues of over ₹770 crore, is likely to move the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to recover its dues.

BSNL has written to heads of all its telecom circles to provide details of outstanding dues, claims and bank guarantees from RCom to file a case in the NCLT. The Hindu has seen a copy of the letter.

In a statement, Mr. Anil Ambani said, “My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the im0portance of staying true to their strong family values by extending this timely support. I and my family are grateful and deeply touched with their gesture.”

Meanwhile, Reliance Communications and Reliance Jio on Monday terminated the ₹25,000 crore telecom deal signed in December 2017 for sale of spectrum, optic fibre, telecom towers and media convergence nodes by mutual agreement.

The deal fell through as RCom could not get the approval of 40 lenders and a no-objection certificate from the Department of Telecommunications after Jio refused to take responsibility for the past dues of RCom.

RCom shares fell 9.3% to close at ₹4 on the BSE on Monday.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 11:26:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/anil-ambanis-rcom-pays-462-billion-to-ericsson/article26570080.ece

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