MUMBAI – According to two sources familiar with the situation, debt-ridden Reliance Communications has decided to sell its wireless properties to Reliance Jio Infocomm for a total of close to 240 billion rupees which is ($3.75 billion).
The two businesses had stated late Thursday that Reliance Communications, which is financed by entrepreneur Anil Ambani, would transfer all of its spectrum, tower, optic fibre, and other telecommunications network assets to Jio, which will be controlled by Reliance and is run by Anil Ambani’s older brother Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India. The deal’s value was not disclosed.
If the deal goes through, it would be a major leap in Reliance Communication’s effort to reduce its debt, which had caused its shares to hit historic lows and prompted creditors including China Development Bank (CDB) to initiate insolvency proceedings due to missing payments.
Reliance Communications, often known as RCom, is being discussed, according to a statement made by CDB earlier on Friday.
Friday saw gains of up to 29.9 per cent for RCom shares and up to 0.9 per cent for Reliance Industries.
The sale would also signal the transfer of the telecom operations to Reliance Industries, which entered the telecom industry in 2002 under the name Reliance Infocomm Ltd., led by the senior Ambani.
Reliance Industries was separated in 2005 as a result of a family quarrel between the two Ambani brothers, with Mukesh Ambani having kept the lucrative oil and gas sector and Anil Ambani taking telecom and power with him.
And Mukesh Ambani has returned to the telecoms industry with the launching of Jio on September 2016, overturning the industry with discounted broadband and free phone service while driving RCom into a debt spiral.
RCom has stated that it is exiting the consumer telecom market to concentrate on its enterprise business. On Tuesday, it unveiled a new strategy to reduce its debt by about 390 billion rupees ($6.09 billion) out without banks’ help, leaving it with only about 60 billion rupees in debt.
The transaction, according to Morgan Stanley analysts, would enable Jio to further diversify into the Indian cellular market, but it would also increase its debt.
“The purchase of RCom’s telecommunications infrastructure could result in cost savings and cost synergies while improving growth Capex clarity. The transaction may increase balance sheet debt by 10–12 per cent shortly “On Friday, Morgan Stanley stated in a note.
Reliance With a customer base of about 140 million, Jio is the telecom firm in India with the quickest rate of growth. Jio gains access to four spectrum bands, 43,000 telecom towers, a national fibre optic network, and other resources through the agreement.