Lenders to Reliance Communications (RCom) moved NCLT to appoint a new resolution professional and form a committee of creditors, the first step to begin the bankruptcy process of the Anil Ambani group company that owes close to £5 billion to 31lenders led by SBI. RCom through existing resolution professional, sought 13 months exclusion in insolvency process, citing the stays it had on the process by the appellate tribunal and the Supreme Court. The RP sought the exclusion from April 30, 2018 to May 30, 2019. RCom was in trouble for years forcing it to discontinue operations two years ago. Its effort to stave off bankruptcy by selling spectrum to Reliance Jio got scuttled after the long legal and government delays for approvals.
Apple may open 1st India store in Mumbai
Apple has finalised a shortlist of locations for its first retail store in India, according to people familiar with the plans, as the company redoubles its efforts in the world’s fastestgrowing smartphone market. The iPhone giant has zeroed in on several upscale sites in Mumbai, and plans to make a final decision in the next few weeks, said the people in the know of developments. The vetted spots are comparable to iconic Apple locations on Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London or the Champs-Elysees in Paris, they said. Apple has been prohibited from opening its own stores in India because it doesn’t meet local sourcing requirements, but it’s shifting manufacturing into India and is in talks with the government about its retail expansion. The California-based company has struggled to establish itself in India where consumers have opted for less expensive Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Vivo. But chief executive officer Tim Cook has vowed to improve in the fast-growing market, especially as Apple loses ground in China. Manufacturing in India will also allow the company to sidestep 20% tariffs on imported phones, making its devices more competitive.
Jet’s staffers may land jobs at Taj
Tatas may have passed the opportunity to acquire Jet Airways, but they are not missing out on the chance to acquire the grounded carrier’s talent. The conglomerate’s hospitality unit The Taj Mahal Palace has put out a post on a social media platform welcoming former Jet Airways employees to be a part of its heritage and legacy. As Taj is expanding its operations, it is looking for talent and the ex-Jet staff would benefit the chain as their skills and expertise are similar to those needed in the aviation, hospitality and tourism businesses, said a source. While Taj is the first from the hospitality industry to announce hiring of former Jet employees, several airlines, including Air India have already recruited some of the grounded carrier’s staff. SpiceJet has taken on board at least 1,000 employees and has offered Jet staff first preference in terms of employment. Even the Tatas’ airline joint venture, Vistara, has begun recruiting Jet crew as it looks to start its international operations. The $110-billion conglomerate was earlier looking to buy Jet Airways but promoter Naresh Goyal’s reluctance to exit the carrier and other issues led to the deal collapsing.
Voda pledges entire £1.8 bn India stake
Vodafone has pledged its entire stake in Vodafone Idea with seven foreign banks shortly after the country’s largest telecom operator issued new shares to promoters to raise funds to pare debt. Vodafone holds 44.4% stake in Vodafone Idea, which is worth over £1.8 billion. In a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges, the company said Vodafone Group companies have pledged their 44.4% stake in Vodafone Idea. The pledge was created “in relation to financing arrangements for Vodafone Group companies” in favour of HSBC Corporate Trustee Company (UK), which is acting as a trustee for BNP Paribas, HSBC Bank, ING Bank Singapore branch, StanChart Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, the filing said. “Each of the entities named above has been incorporated outside India,” it said. Vodafone Group holds a stake in Vodafone Idea through 12 entities based out of India and Mauritius.