RCom announces debt revival plan, ropes in new investor

Mumbai: Crippled Reliance Communications (RCom) announced yet another debt revival plan on Tuesday claiming full debt resolution by March but without involving any conversion of debt into equity and exiting the SDR framework, apart from coming on-board of a strategic investor.

But the company did not name the new investor. Announcing the resolution plan, company chairman Anil Ambani told reporters that the new plan has the support of a Chinese lender that had dragged it to the NCLT for dues running into USD 1.8 billion, and would see RCom bringing down its mountain of debt by Rs 25,000 crore.

RCom stock rallied 35 per cent on the BSE to Rs 22.01 per cent after the announcement. The company has a debt over Rs 44,000 crore. Debt resolution involves RCom exiting SDR framework with no conversion of debt into equity and zero write-off by lenders, Ambani said, adding he expects full closure by March 2018.

He said the deal involved an eight-stage asset monetisation process under an oversight committee headed by former RBI deputy governor S S Mundra with members from Trai and the whole process will be completed in 40 days flat.

The proceeds from asset monetisation will be used only to pay back the lenders, including China Development Bank with whom the company sealed an out-of court settlement last evening in Beijing.

On the no hair-cut for lenders, he said the new plan involves zero equity conversion for lenders and bond holders. The debt resolution also involves part transfer of spectrum installments, Ambani said. It can be noted that 31 lenders led by SBI had met over the weekend.

Late last month RCom had presented what it called a ‘no- loan write-off’ plan where lenders are to convert Rs 7,000 crore of debt into equity. The ‘no-loan write-off’ plan also involves repaying of up to Rs 17,000 crore loans out of proceeds from monetisation of spectrum, tower and fibre assets.