Deal to sell assets to Jio has failed, Anil Ambani tells SC

Wednesday 20th February 2019 05:12 EST

Approximately 13 months after Anil Ambani announced the sale of his debt-ridden Reliance Communications' telecom assets to elder brother Mukesh's Reliance Jio for an estimated £2.3 billion, he has revealed the deal fell through despite its best efforts. Ambani, who is facing contempt proceedings for his failure to comply with the Supreme Court's order to pay Swedish telecom company Ericsson £55 million (plus interest), made the revelation in front of the SC. The agreement is reportedly in jeopardy for while now, especially after RCom filed for insolvency on February 1, following its inability to repay about £4.7 billion of debt. But the admission in an open courtroom marks its formal burial.

Ambani was personally present in the court and remained standing in the jam-packed room for two and a half hours. Ericsson has asked that he be detained in civil prison till he clears his dues, for which he has given personal guarantee. Although the Ambani brothers had agreed on the transaction, they differed on the question of who would be responsible for RCom's past liabilities, including the spectrum usage charge payable to the Centre. The deal with Jio was the only positive thing for Anil and his bail-out plans, however, with Mukesh's refusal to assume any previous liabilities that might arise, it was headed for the rocks.

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