RCom shares nosedive 20.5% as NCLT admits Ericsson's bankruptcy petition

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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.

Shares of Reliance Communications plunged almost 16 per cent a day after NCLT admitted an insolvency petition filed by Ericsson against the company and two of its subsidiaries.

The move is also likely to jeopardise RCom's Rs 18,000-crore deal to pare debt by selling its wireless assets to Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm.

India's on Tuesday admitted an insolvency plea filed by Sweden's against Reliance Communications, potentially delaying the Indian firm'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.

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The company has postponed to 19 May its board meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday to approve audited financial results for the quarter and year ended 31 March. On the NSE, the company shares nosedived 20.56 per cent to Rs 9.85.

A lawyer for RCom said it would appeal. The stock is down 68.85% during the last one year.

In a statement, the company said, "RCom and two of its subsidiaries-Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel-await detailed order from NCLT, allowing the Ericsson application for admitting the companies to debt resolution under the IBC". The rule is aimed at blocking back-door entry by delinquent owners. Through sale of assets, the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani led company was seeking to reduce its $7 billion debt.

In December 2017, Reliance Jio agreed to buy a majority of the wireless assets of RCom for an undisclosed amount. The law is now being tested through bitter court battles.