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RCom purchase not to impact RIL ratings: Moodys

twitter-logoPTI | December 29, 2017 | Updated 18:51 IST

Mumbai, Dec 29 (PTI) Reliance Industries credit rating will not be affected following the acquisition of mobile telephony assets of Reliance Communications which will happen at less than Rs 25,000 crore, says Moodys.

"RIL had cash and cash equivalents of Rs 77,000 crore, which can be used to fund the acquisition," says Vikas Halan, a vice-president and senior credit officer at the global ratings agency said today.

Even assuming that RIL pays Rs 25,000 crore for the assets, Halan said "it accounts for only 0.4 per cent of RILs pretax profit for the last one year, and 11.6 per cent of its consolidated borrowings as of September 2017."

"Therefore, Moodys Investors Service sees no impact on RILs ratings following the acquisition of RCom," Moodys that has a Baa2 rating on RIL with stable outlook, said.

It can be noted that in November, Moodys had withdrawn the ratings on RCom, citing a missed scheduled payment related to the companys dollar bondholders.

The agency said it expects RIL to pay less than Rs 25,000 crore for the acquisition as it is acquiring only the towers, optic fiber cable network, spectrum and media convergence nodes, and not the realty assets.

Even assuming that it pays Rs 25,000 crore, Halan said it accounts for only 0.4 per cent of RILs pretax profit for the last one year, and 11.6 per cent of its consolidated borrowings as of September 2017.

"Despite a possible increase in RILs consolidated leverage the acquisition can be accommodated within RILs rating," it added.

It can be noted that during a press conference to announce the companys exit from the strategic debt restructuring programme that entailed bankers taking over majority control of the company, RCom chairman Anil Ambani had said it expected the asset sales, excluding the its operational headquarters Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City in the nearby Navi Mumbai, to fetch Rs 25,000 crore.

It will reduce the cushion under RILs rating for further increase in its borrowings, especially if the company does not reduce its planned capital expenditure for its telecom business, the agency warned.

Yesterday, RIL surprised all by announcing acquisition of the RCom assets without specifying the consideration. If all goes as planned, the deal will be consummated by March.

Acquisition will help RIL access the telecom infrastructure assets of RCom following the latters debt restructuring and also ensures that RComs 4G spectrum does not fall into hands of RILs competitors, Moodys said. PTI AA BEN BEN

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