Reliance Jio to buy Reliance Communication’s wireless assets in $3.75 billion deal

Debt-laden Reliance Communications has signed a deal to sell its wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm, for a total value of nearly 240 billion rupees ($3.75 billion), two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The two companies had announced late on Thursday that Reliance Communications, backed by businessman Anil Ambani, would sell all its spectrum, tower, fibre optic and other telecom infrastructure assets to Jio, which is owned by Reliance Industries and is controlled by Anil Ambani’s elder brother Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest person. They did not give the value of the deal.

The sale, if finalised, would mark a big step in Reliance Communication’s quest to cut down its debt, which had sent its shares to record lows and led creditors such as China Development Bank (CDB) to start insolvency proceedings over missed payments.

CDB said earlier on Friday it is in talks with Reliance Communications, or RCom as it is called.

RCom shares rose as much as 29.9 percent on Friday while Reliance Industries rose as much as 0.9 percent.

The sale would also mark the return of the telecom operations back into the fold of Reliance Industries, which forayed into telecoms in 2002, spearheaded by the elder Ambani, under the name of Reliance Infocomm Ltd.