Published: Fri, December 29, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

India's Reliance Jio to buy all wireless assets of Rcom

India's Reliance Jio to buy all wireless assets of Rcom

Reliance Jio will acquire towers, optic fiber cable network or OFC, 4G Spectrum from RCom.

Reliance Communication (RCOM) is a diversified telecom service provider offering wireless, wire-line and DTH services. "Timing could be questionable: I mean, Jio does not need spectrum right now - they have enough for at least the next two years - but they must be thinking long term".

A year ago in September, Reliance Industries under RJio entered the telecom sector again and created disruption with free voice calls and dirt cheap data tariffs. The company is already undergoing a "robust" transformation to a business-business services company, Anil Ambani had said.

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After the heightened competition in the telecom sector following the entry of Jio, what had made matters worse for RCom was its failure to merge its business with Aircel. This has forced several telecom companies to sell out, acquire or merge with other companies. "These assets are strategic in nature and are expected to contribute significantly to the large scale roll-out of wireless and Fiber to Home and Enterprise services by Reliance Jio", the statement added. However, a day before RCom had announced that the assets sale would help it reduce its debt by Rs 25,000 crore and the company will come out of RBI's SDR framework.

Reliance Communications, which is saddled with a debt of around Rs 45,000 crore, is understood to have handled the legal elements of the transaction internally. The shares gained 7.7% on Thursday to close at Rs 30.96 apiece, giving the company a market valuation of Rs 8,562 crore. It had previously partially shut down its operations and was dragged into a bankruptcy court by China Development Bank last month.

RJio emerged as the highest bidder in the two-stage bidding process conducted under the supervision of a high-powered bid evaluation committee, comprising experts from banking, telecom and law.

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The transactions are expected to close in a phased manner between January and March, with the proceeds going exclusively to repay Reliance Communications' lenders. This was step taken by RCOM to monetize wireless assets in order to repay debt.

Jio is being advised by Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Global Markets, JM Financial Pvt.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI), the telecommunications arm of.

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