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RCom to sell DTH business to Pantel Technologies, Veecon Media
Anil Ambani | Photo Credit: Reuters

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications said it will sell its direct-to-home business Reliance BIG TV Ltd to Pantel Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Veecon Media & Television Ltd.

As part of the deal, Pantel Technologies and Veecon Media will acquire the entire shareholding of Reliance BIG TV on an ‘as-is where-is’ basis, along with existing trade liabilities and contingent liabilities, RCom said in a stock market disclosure.

Early this month, RCom had said it has inked a memorandum of understanding with Veecon Media for the similar transaction.

Pantel Technologies is an information technology and communication (ITC) devices firm. It sells tablet PCs under the brand name of Penta T-Pad in the Indian, Southeast Asian, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and African markets. The firm had acquired Den-Snapdeal, TV-Shop shopping channel, in June 2017.

The company has collaborated with Mauritius-based telecom service provider Mauritius Telecom to bring digital computing solutions to the Mauritian and African markets, said Vijender Singh, chairman and managing director of Pantel Technologies.

Singh has over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience across sectors including education and retail, according to the company's website.

The transaction will help RCom reduce the liability of unsecured creditors, benefitting all stakeholders, including lenders and shareholders of RCom, the company said.

The transaction is subject to approvals from licensors, regulatory authorities including Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and lenders.

Following the transaction, around 500 employees of Reliance BIG TV will retain their jobs. RCom said 1.2 million customers of BIG TV shall continue to enjoy services.

The sale of RCom’s DTH business comes barely two days after the firm’s plan to sell its telecom tower business to Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Partners fell through. The deal with Brookefield hinged on RCom’s merger with Aircel, which was called off last month due to regulatory and legal issues.

The combination of RCom’s wireless business with Aircel, and the monetisation of the tower business were together expected to reduce RCom’s overall debt by Rs 31,000 crore ($4.6 billion) or nearly 70%.

RCom’s unsuccessful attempts at sealing these two major deals have spooked investors and taken a toll on its stock. Its shares fell 3.37% to Rs 12.9 apiece on Tuesday in a weak Mumbai market.

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