Telecom operator Aircel, which filed for bankruptcy last week, is exploring the possibility of a bid by the management.
Aircel is also weighing the possibility of an interim financing deal approved by a proposed resolution professional to take care of the operational expenses till the bids come, according to a report in Business Standard.
The operator also has another choice of convincing its key promoter Anand Krishnamurty of Maxis, which has already invested more than USD 7 billion in the India venture, to pay the interest overdue of Rs 3 billion so that it becomes eligible to bid.
The top management was expected to go to Malaysia in a few days to discuss the plan of action as further investment in the company was unlikely, sources told the paper.
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On January 25, the consortium of banks had cleared a restructuring plan asking the promoters to bring in fresh equity capital of Rs 26 billion while the banks would convert a portion of their loans into equity so that they had a 45 percent stake in Aircel while restructuring the rest.
The Reserve Bank of India, however, abolished such debt restructuring schemes, forcing Aircel to take a new path.
The company may offer value to big boys like Airtel or Jio as a low-end mobile services brand, a top Aircel executive told the paper.
The operator has substantial presence in Tamil Nadu, followed by the North East, Assam and Kolkata.
Aircel has a total debt of Rs 150 billion, of which 70 percent is with Indian banks. It also has to pay its vendors, many of whom have also filed recovery suits in courts.
Considering the operational cost, the company is trying to hasten the resolution process. “If we have to wait for 270 days, there will be no choice but to liquidate as customers would have left us and we of course won’t have the money to pay for rental of towers or electricity and employees,'' a source told the paper.(Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd)