According to the Financial Times, Reliance Communications now has two bids in hand for different parts of its remaining telecommunications business, which includes Global Cloud Xchange’s global subsea network as well as Indian data center and fixed line network assets. Both bidders are from the private equity community.
I Squared Capital has been said to be most interested in the Indian data center and fixed-line assets. Their plan would be to combine those with the HGC assets they bought last year from Hutchison to create a regional power in south and east Asia.
Meanwhile a consortium of TPG, Blackstone, and Varde is supposedly kicking the tires of the subsea assets. They have supposedly offered to take on the high yield bonds that unit has issued. It’s unclear yet what the private equity consortium’s plan would be for these assets. However, they would have deep enough pockets to fund either further M&A or organic buildouts, neither of which RCOM has had the financial dry powder to really put in.
The overall price tag is now said to be in the $1.1B range, although it’s unclear whether either of the two bids are for all or part of the assets. Whether the courts involved in the insolvency proceedings will like that number or not, it’s roughly similar to the level RCOM refused to accept each of the multiple times it’s put these assets up for sale or IPO over the years as it struggled with that debt load.
Is the saga finally about to end? There are probably a few more twists and turns left, it does feel like the end isn’t far off.
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