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UPDATE 1-India's RCom reworking tower assets stake sale after wireless deal flop
October 3, 2017 / 5:39 AM / 17 days ago

UPDATE 1-India's RCom reworking tower assets stake sale after wireless deal flop

* RCom in talks with Brookfield to sell all of tower unit - media

* Shares fall to record low after planned Aircel deal collapses

* RCom was banking on tower and wireless deals to cut debt load (Recasts story, focusing on tower stake sale)

MUMBAI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - India’s Reliance Communications is reworking a planned $1.7 billion stake sale in its tower assets after scrapping a proposed merger of its wireless arm with smaller rival Aircel, as its shares tumbled to an all-time low.

RCom, as the company is known, said it is in talks with Canada’s Brookfield to sell all of its tower arm, instead of a 51 percent stake sale agreed previously, Business Standard and Hindu Business Line newspapers reported, citing Punit Garg, an executive director at the Indian telecoms carrier.

Brookfield, which was to pay 110 billion rupees ($1.7 billion) for the majority stake in RCom’s tower arm, will revalue the assets after the Aircel deal was scrapped, Garg was quoted as saying by the newspapers.

RCom, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, said on Sunday it is reassessing debt repayment options after calling off the merger deal citing regulatory delays and legal uncertainties.

The embattled company was banking on the tower stake sale as well as the merger of its mobile services business to cut its debt load by 60 percent, or 250 billion rupees.

Brookfield declined to comment on the status of its tower deal with RCom.

With $6.8 billion of debt, RCom is the most leveraged among listed Indian telcos. The company earlier this year won a temporary reprieve from creditor banks on its debt-servicing obligations citing the deals in the works.

Shares in RCom were trading at 17.95 rupees, down 6.5 percent, at 0400 GMT, after dropping to a low of 17.70 rupees. Indian markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday. ($1 = 65.5575 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Swati Bhat and Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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