Aircel Lenders Looking to Restart Mobile Business With New Investors

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Last month Aircel India filed for bankruptcy, but it seems the firm may yet revive again. Aircel’s committee of creditors is considering an option to restart the company’s mobile phone operations in few select circles and looking for funding from investors other than promoters, sources familiar with the matter told ET. A person attending the meeting of that Aircel’s committee of creditors (CoC) said they are already in discussions as to which circles to start running. “It’s quite clear that the promoters won’t be infusing any more cash. So, the idea is to look for funding from other parties. It’s a blank slate right now,” said the source. “The discussions also revolved around which circles to start running,” the person added.


This was apparently one of the various options the CoC - formed after National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved Aircel’s plea for bankruptcy protection on March 8 - discussed in its first meeting held on April 13.

The CoC meeting took place in SBI’s Fort –Mumbai branch and was attended by lenders, led by State Bank of India. Also present in the meeting were representatives from management, and the insolvency professional from Deloitte, Vijaykumar V Iyer, who is trying to find ways to restart the operations and repay lenders.

Aircel’s CEO Kaizad Heerjee, however, was absent from the meeting. Sources say he was overseas in Malaysia trying to arrange funding for the operator. Malaysia’s Maxis owns Aircel.

However, the revival of the Aircel operations is still not definitive. People aware of the developments say that though 30 days have passed since the interim resolution professional from Deloitte took over, but a final decision on the company’s future are yet to be made. The IRP has 180 days to arrive at a resolution.

Aircel and SBI have failed to respond to ET queries. Deloitte also not to comment on the issue as a spokesperson told ET: “We are bound by confidentiality obligations and are unable to comment on client-specific matters.”

Meanwhile, Aircel woes continue as the agitated employees demand clarity of payments, and the operator is also facing legal battles with tower firms GTL Infrastructure and America Tower Company (ATC), and vendors such as Swedish gear maker Ericsson over unpaid dues.

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Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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