India-based operator Reliance Communications (RCom) must seek permission from an arbitration court before transferring or disposing of any assets, following an interim order imposed during litigation with Ericsson.
The Economic Times (ET) reported the restriction would be disputed by RCom in the high court, however, if upheld the order casts doubt on RCom’s ability to sell a range of wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm to cut its debt load.
While the next hearing in the Ericsson case is not scheduled until June, RCom lined up an end-March completion date for the Reliance Jio Infocomm transaction.
The court case is the result an insolvency suit filed by Ericsson in September 2017 as the Sweden-based vendor attempted to recover $180 million it said the Indian operator owed. ET reported judges hearing the case believe Ericsson has an “arguable case”.
When Ericsson launched its legal action, it came amid similar proceedings from investor China Development Bank (CDB). Earlier in 2018 the operator staved off CDB’s bankruptcy petition after coming to an agreement on debt repayment. However, CDB retained the right to restart proceedings if it failed to recover funds owed.