Will Reliance Jio, Airtel help in keeping Aircel’s network running?

New Delhi: Two days after filing for bankruptcy protection from creditors, Aircel is reportedly is in talks with Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm for intra-circle roaming pacts, a financial daily has reported.
Aircel filed for bankruptcy saying high debt and mounting losses, following a price war triggered by a new entrant, have led the company to troubled times.
As per a report in the Economic Times, Aircels is talking to investors for strategic financing and is also negotiating with the above two telecom operators to keep its network running.
At this crucial juncture, it is imperative for Aircel, saddled with a debt burden of Rs 15,500 crore, to sustain the company’s value. Also, if the insolvency petition is accepted then it will allow the interim resolution professional to find bidders for Aircel.
While filing for bankruptcy, the Company in a release had said that it would like to communicate to “all the customers that it would strive hard to provide uninterrupted service connectivity to them” and appealed to them for their “support during the current difficult period.”
The disruption of its services in the licensed service areas — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai, North East, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (East) and West Bengal, had inconvenienced a large number of subscribers, who faced difficulties in services and in porting their mobile number to another operator.
Aircel, 74 percent owned by Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Bhd, first tried a merger with Reliance Communications Ltd but the plan failed late last year due to regulatory and legal uncertainties. Later, it tried to unsuccessfully restructure its Rs 15,500 crore debt.
After failing on all options, it filed for bankruptcy with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai.
In a statement, Aircel said that intense competition following the disruptive entry of a new player, legal and regulatory challenges, high level of unsustainable debt and increased losses had together caused significant “negative business and reputational impact” on the company.

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