Anil Ambani, four others resign as directors of debt-ridden RCom

Anil Ambani
The matter relates to a corporate loan availed by Reliance Communications (RCom) and Reliance Infratel (RITL) and is not a personal loan of Ambani.

Anil Ambani has resigned as the director of the debt-ridden Reliance Communications along with four other directors, the company said on Saturday (November 16). The other directors who tendered their resignations are Chhaya Virani, Ryna Karani, Manjari Kacker and Suresh Rangachar.

In a regulatory filing on Saturday, the company said, “Shri Anil D Ambani, Smt. Chhaya Virani, Smt. Manjari Kacker have tendered their resignation as Director of Company on November 15th, 2019.” Ryna Karani and Suresh Rangachar tendered their resignations on November 14 and November 13, 2019 respectively.

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“Your good office may also note that Shri Manikantan V., has also tendered his resignation as a director and Chief Financial Officer of the Company earlier. The aforementioned resignations shall be put up to the committee of creditors of the Company for their consideration,” it said.

The development comes a day after RCom posted a consolidated loss of ₹30,142 crore for July-September 2019 due to provisioning for liabilities after the Supreme Court ruling on statutory dues. This was the second-highest loss posted by any Indian corporate till date.

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Ambani was once in the world’s top 10 rich persons list but now the company is struggling to even sell assets for the recovery of dues. The company, which is going through insolvency process, had made a profit of ₹1,141 crore in the corresponding three months a year ago.

During July-September 2019, the company set aside ₹28,314 crore on account of provisioning following the Supreme Court order on a calculation of annual adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of telecom companies.

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The apex court last month upheld the government’s position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual AGR, a share of which has to be paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer. RCom’s total liability includes ₹23,327 crore licence fee and ₹4,987 crore spectrum usage charges.

“The resignation of Shri Manikantan V and appointment of Shri D Vishwanath as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer has been put up to the COC for their approval. Upon approval by the Committee of Creditors, further disclosures will be made to stock exchanges,” the filing said.

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Ambani got the charge of RCom after property division between him and his elder brother Mukesh Ambani in 2005. The company is undergoing through insolvency proceedings following an application filed by Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson.

The National Company Law Tribunal has handed over control of the company to an insolvency resolution professional. Sources estimate that RCom Group’s total secured debt is around ₹33,000 crore. Lenders have submitted claim of around ₹49,000 crore in August.

RCom has put all its assets for sale which include spectrum holding of 122 MHz that the company before insolvency proceedings estimated to be around ₹14,000 crore, towers business for ₹7,000 crore, optical fibre network ₹3,000 crore and data centres worth ₹4,000 crore.

The Committee of Creditors looking after asset sale of RCom will open bids received for the assets on November 24.

(With inputs from agencies)

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