Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
The report claimed that Aircel's board was also dissolved; the telco, with a massive Rs. 15,500cr debt, might shortly leave the market.
Only four major private telcos will remain in the telecom space after Aircel's exit.
Aircel's parent, Malaysia-based Maxis led by Ananda Krishnan, earlier proposed infusing cash into the troubled telco to support it. But, Maxis, too, pulled the plug on the plan.
The debt-laden telco has been negotiating with lenders since Sep'17 but couldn't reach an agreement for a recast of its Rs. 15,500cr debt.
Aircel and its Malaysian parent are yet to comment on the matter.
A source said, "There is no cash to run the business and no visibility to free any more up." Aircel would also stop paying salaries by the end of this week (24-25 February). ET says Maxis is no longer interested in investing in Aircel.
Aircel reportedly took the decision to file for bankruptcy after Reserve Bank of India scrapped all the debt revamp schemes in favor of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
The lenders of Aircel would reportedly meet later this week and decide on appointments and "future course of action".
India's largest bank, the State Bank of India, leads the group of lenders.
Aircel reportedly didn't make any payments to banks since last September; so, the bankers "can no longer restructure Aircel without provisioning for its debt."
The lenders were earlier confident that they would recover money from Aircel. Maxis had even issued "letters of comfort" to banks saying it would meet shortfalls of Rs. 500cr and pay circle license fees of another Rs. 500cr if required.
According to the report, Aircel's monthly revenue is about Rs. 400cr. Of this, Rs. 100cr are accounted to other telecom operators for termination charges while about Rs. 280cr for vendors and network uptime. The remaining amount is used for license fees, interest payments, and taxes.
Aircel had earlier stated that it would continue providing telecom services in India, but it now seems impossible.
The debt-ridden telco is also facing trouble with retaining its subscribers. It has been losing a huge number of customers every month.
The troubled company lost 2.5mn customers in Dec'17. Aircel's subscriber base shrank to 84mn from 90mn in just a few months.
Aircel subscribers in many places have been facing a lot of network issues of late. Recently, users in major cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad have also not been able to receive network; they were unable to latch on to other networks.
Idea Cellular stated that it was forced not to allow calls from Aircel to its network as Aircel didn't make interconnect usage payments.
Love Business news?
Subscribe to stay updated.