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RCom shares drop 7.8% to record low after Aircel merger deal collapses

Reliance Communications called off the merger deal, citing regulatory delays and legal uncertainties.

business Updated: Oct 03, 2017 23:07 IST
Reuters, Mumbai
Reliance Communications,Aircel,Merger
Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani with his son Anmol Ambani at the Reliance Capital AGM at Birla Matoshree, in Mumbai, India, on Sept 26, 2017.(HT Photo)

Shares of India’s Reliance Communications tumbled as much as 7.8% in early trade on Tuesday to an all-time low after the company scrapped a proposed merger of its wireless arm with rival Aircel, raising doubts about a debt-reduction plan.

Shares in RCom were trading at Rs 17.90, down 6.77%, at 0400 GMT, after dropping to a low of Rs 17.70. Indian markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Reliance Communications said on Sunday it is reassessing debt repayment options after calling off the merger deal, citing regulatory delays and legal uncertainties.

The company is saddled with net debt of about $6.8 billion. It has earned a temporary reprieve from its banks, who have agreed to a standstill on its debt obligations as part of a planned debt restructuring.

The reprieve was largely predicated upon RCom reducing debt by Rs 250 billion by merging its wireless unit with Aircel, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Maxis Communications, and selling a stake in its mobile masts arm to a unit of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management.

Late on Sunday, RCom said it had agreed with Aircel to call off the merger due to regulatory delays and legal uncertainties. It is unclear whether the collapse of the RCom-Aircel deal will affect the Brookfield transaction.

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 10:57 IST