Reliance Communications Soars on Plan to Swap Debt to Equity

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Reliance Communications Ltd. shares surged the most in more than two months after the phone operator announced plans to sell down assets and offered to convert debt into a majority stake in the company.

The stock rose as much as 16 percent in Mumbai and closed 8.6 percent higher at 17.10 rupees on Tuesday. Trading volumes were more than four times the three-month full-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Billionaire Anil Ambani’s mobile-phone operator proposed lenders convert debt worth 70 billion rupees ($1.08 billion) into 51 percent equity, according to an exchange filing Monday. As much as 270 billion rupees could be repaid by selling assets such as spectrum, phone towers and real estate.

The past month was rough on the operator as it announced the collapse of its merger plans with rival Aircel Ltd. due to regulatory delays and legal uncertainties, withdrew a regulatory document seeking a nod to sell its towers and faced yet another insolvency petition.

Reliance Communications said Oct. 25 that it’ll cut back its second- and third-generation wireless networks from Nov. 30, a move that’s expected to reduce the value of towers the company owns.

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