Reliance Communications (RCOM) has announced its exit from RBI’s SDR framework with zero equity conversion and zero loan writeoffs for lenders and bond holders and reduced its debt by Rs. 25,000 crore through prepayment of loans, transfer of DoT’s deferred spectrum payment liabilities, etc.
Upon completion of all transactions as announced, the balance debt in RCOM is expected to be around Rs.6,000 crore only, representing reduction of over 85% of total debt.
Speaking on the occasion, Anil D. Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Communications said, “I am delighted with the comprehensive resolution for the benefit of all stakeholders of RCOM. What we have achieved, in the face of extraordinary challenges, is truly historic and unprecedented in Indian corporate history.”
RCOM has worked closely with all lenders and SBI Capital Markets, the advisors appointed by the Lenders, to run a competitive process in a transparent manner to monetize its valuable assets comprising: 122.4 MHz of 4G Spectrum in the 800/900/1800/2100 MHz bands; over 43,000 towers, amongst the Top 3 independent tower holdings in India; around 178,000 RKM of fiber with pan-India footprint; 248 media convergence nodes, covering around 5 million square feet used for hosting telecom infrastructure; and prime real estate located in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Jigni and Tirupati.
The monetization process is being carried out under the oversight of an independent high powered Bid Evaluation Committee, comprising of eminent experts from banking, telecom and law. The monetisation of assets has elicited very strong response both from India and abroad.
Lenders have received the final binding bids and all transactions are expected to be closed in a phased manner between January and March 2018.
RCOM’s Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City campus comprises of over 125 acres of prime real estate in New Bombay, held by a SPV. The complex is already registered as an IT park, and is proposed to be commercially developed under the “Integrated Information Technology Township” Scheme of the Government of Maharashtra over the next 10 years. The total development potential as per prevailing regulations is estimated at over 20 million square feet of commercial, residential and retail space. The gross proceeds as per an independent 3rd party valuation have been estimated at over Rs. 25,000 crore over the development timeframe.
The process for identification of a Joint Developer for the project is being conducted by JLL, and has received an overwhelming response. A large number of leading international and domestic developers have expressed their keen interest in the project, and have submitted offers that are presently under evaluation.
The commercial development of the DAKC campus will lead to reduction of RCOM’s debt by a further around Rs. 10,000 crore, with the SPV holding the real estate assuming non-recourse long- term debt financing of the said amount.
RCOM’s continuing operations will comprise stable and profitable B2B focused businesses, including Indian and global enterprise, Internet data centres and the largest private submarine cable network in the world. These B2B businesses are stable, capital light and have sustained and predictable annuity revenues and profits, with immense growth potential amidst relatively low competitive intensity.
RCOM will receive equity infusion from global strategic partners for further debt reduction, consequent upon a stake sale process already underway, and being conducted by Credit Suisse. RCOM’s balance debt is expected to be a highly conservative around Rs. 6,000 crore only, upon completion of all transactions.