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RCom-Sistema Shyam merger completed

Deal to help the Anil Ambani-led firm that is trying to shut down its loss-making wireless telephony business by Nov 30

Rcom-sistema Shyam Merger

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Reliance Communications, RComm

Reliance Communications on Tuesday said it has completed the merger of Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which operates under MTS brand, with the company.

The Russian conglomerate Sistema controlled SSTL gets 10 per cent stake in RCom as part of the deal.

"The Board of Directors of Reliance Communications Limited, at its meeting held today in Mumbai, took on record the demerger of Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltds telecom business in India, run under the brand name MTS, with the company," RCom said in a statement.

The completion of SSTL business merger gives a breather to RCom which is planning to shut down its loss-making wireless telephony business by November 30 and concentrate only on 4G internet services.

As part of the deal, RCom will acquire the entire telecom business of SSTL including its licences which bring along 30 MHz of spectrum in 800 and 850 MHz band, considered premium frequencies for providing 4G services.

SSTL merger will result extension of RCom's spectrum validity in the 800 and 850 MHz band in eight telecom service area -- Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, UP-West and West Bengal -- by 12 years, from 2021 to 2033.

"As a result of the demerger, SSTL will receive a 10 per cent equity stake in the fully diluted equity share capital of RCom. In addition, RCom

will assume the liability to pay the DoT, instalments for SSTL's spectrum, amounting to Rs 390 crore per annum for the next 8 years," the statement said.

RCom is in the midst of a strategic debt restructuring, under which it has entered into a standstill agreement with banks requiring it not to pay any interest or principal till December 2018.

With Rs 44,000 crore loan on its books, the company is also shutting down its direct to home television business from next month after it failed to find any buyer for the business.

RCom Executive Director Gurdeep Singh is believed to have told employees that the company has reached a "situation where we need to call it a day on our wireless business" and this would lead to closure of "wireless business 30 days from now".

RCom has said that the company has decided to adopt a 4G-focused strategy for profitable growth of its wireless business.

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First Published: Wed, November 01 2017. 03:18 IST