Debt-laden Reliance Communications on Friday said its lenders have agreed to a strategic restructuring plan under which it will get a 7-month standstill to service loans amounting to Rs 45,000 crore. In a damage control mode following credit rating downgrades, RCom chairman Anil Ambani held a press conference to announce that the debt burden will be reduced to Rs 20,000 crore with two deals by September, before the December deadline given by the lenders at a meeting with them earlier in the day.
Besides, he said, RCom will consider strategic sale of global business to further pare debt. “Our plans have been accepted by the lenders and they have constituted a joint lender forum (JLF). Reliance Communications, under the provision (SDR), will receive a standstill on serving debt obligations for period of 7 months, that is, till December 2017,” Ambani told reporters here. He said lenders took note of the substantial progress the company has made on the strategic transformation programme, especially the creation of the new, independent wireless company, Aircom, focussed on India, the agreements signed with Aircel and also the Reliance Infratel stake sale to Brookefield of Canada.
“Both the transactions, we believe, will lead to a reduction of Rs 25,000 crore of debt, which is 60 per cent by just two transactions,” he said. He said both the domestic as well foreign lenders have accepted the company’s plans. When asked about the remaining debt of RS 20,000 crore, Ambani said the company will look at strategic sale of its global business.