Lenders give RCOM a reprieve  till end-Decem­ber 2017 (India)

Reliance Communi­ca­tions’ (RCOM) lenders have granted the operator time until end-December 2017 to close its transactions with Aircel and Brookfield, and reduce its debt from Rs 450 billion to Rs 200 billion. During this period, RCOM will not have to service its debt, nor will its loans accrue any interest. The reprieve will give RCOM time to complete the sale of a 51 per cent stake in its infrastructure arm, Reliance Infratel, to Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Part­ners and the merger of its wireless operations with Aircel. The merged entity will be named Aircom. The transactions are expected to reduce RCOM’s debt by Rs 200 billion-Rs 250 billion. The approval of the joint lenders’ forum (JLF) comes after a series of financial setbacks at RCOM, including its first annual net loss, delays in a number of interest payments, falling sto­ck prices and a rating downgrade. Further, the JLF has stated that in case RCOM fails to complete the two aforementioned deals by the deadline, the lenders will have the option to force a debt recast, or potentially convert their debt into equity in the operator through a stra­tegic debt restructuring. Meanwhile, RCOM has stated that if a scenario emerges where it finds its outstanding debt unsustainable, it would look to reduce the same through the monetisation of its 49 per cent stake in Reliance Infratel, and by reducing its stake in Aircom. RCOM is also reportedly in talks with Citic Telecom for the sale of its undersea cable unit, GCX business.

Tejas Networks’ IPO oversubscribed 1.9 times

Tejas Networks’ initial public offering (IPO) to raise Rs 7.76 billion was oversubscribed by 1.9 times. The issue received 32 million bids for the total issue size of 17 million shares, excluding the portion given to anchor investors. The qualified institutional buyer and retail investor categories were oversubscribed 2.1 times and 3 times respectively. High net worth individuals largely chose to stay away from the issue with their portion getting subscribed only 0.5 times. The offer, priced at Rs 250-Rs 257 per share, includes a fresh issue of shares worth Rs 4.5 billion. Further, some existing shareholders will sell shares worth Rs 3.26 billion through an offer for sale. A day before the opening of the IPO, Tejas had raised Rs 3.5 billion through the allotment of 14 million shares to 17 anchor investors including the Abu Dhabi Invest­ment Authority, Amansa Holdings, the Eastbridge Capital Master Fund and the Columbia Emerging Markets Fund. The funds raised will be used mainly for working capital requirements. Axis Capital, Edelweiss Financial Services, Citigroup Global Markets India, and Nomura Fina­n­cial Advisory and Securities (India) were the bookrunning lead managers to the issue.

Idea secures $215 million loan

Idea Cellular has secured a loan worth $215 million from Export Development Canada. The loan was offered under a pre-existing $500 million uncommitted financing arrangement for Idea’s parent company, the Aditya Birla Group. Idea Cellular will use the financing to diversify its funding sources and enhance the maturity profile of its long-term debt in a cost-effective manner.

Liquid Telecom to raise $700 million (South Africa)

Liquid Telecom will raise long-term debt of $700 million through the issue of a $600 million five-year bond and a bank loan of $100 million. The funds raised will be used to enhance the company’s network infrastructure across Africa, particularly in South Africa.

Ooredoo Maldives raises $26.5 million through IPO (Maldives)

Ooredoo Maldives has raised $26.5 million through its IPO launched in April 2017. A total of 14,044,870 shares have been issued to 8,219 applicants. These constitute 9.5 per cent of the issued paid-up shares of Ooredoo Maldives. The company had offered up to 22.17 million issued ordinary shares (representing a 15 per cent stake) to Maldivian and international institutional investors as well as retail investors. The shares are scheduled to be listed on the Maldives Stock Exchan­ge on or before August 10, 2017.

True Corporation dissolves internet subsidiary (Thailand)

True Corporation has dissolved its 100 per cent-owned subsidiary, True Internet. The subsidiary was granted a Type 1 (non-infrastructure-based) internet service provider licence in August 2005 and has since catered to the corporate sector, delivering Ethernet fibre, gigabit passive optical networks and multiprotocol label switching services to enterprise clients. True Corporation will continue to offer residential broadband services via its True Online division.

Edotco Group to buy Pakistan’s tower company (Malaysia)

Malaysia’s Edotco Group is planning to buy Pakistan-based tower company Tan­zanite Tower Private Limited for $90 million. The acquisition will result in the Edotco Group acquiring Tanzanite’s 700 towers, which will enable it to provide services to all major mobile operators in Pakistan. The Edotco Group currently operates and manages over 25,000 towers in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cam­bodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The company recently bought a 75 per cent stake in a tower company in Myanmar for $125 million.