MUMBAI, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Indian telecom operator Aircel Ltd has delayed payment of interest on its debt obligations, ratings agency CARE said and downgraded its rating on the company’s bank facilities to default.
Aircel, the sixth-ranked mobile carrier in the country by subscribers, has delayed payment of interest on its debt obligations on account of its “weak liquidity position,” CARE said in a Nov. 16 note.
Aircel, 74 percent owned by Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Bhd, had plans to combine operations with rival carrier Reliance Communications’ (RCom) wireless unit. That deal fell apart last month.
RCom has won a reprieve from its creditor banks on its debt repayment obligations until December 2018 under a restructuring plan, having delayed servicing the loans.
Aircel has long-term bank loans of 174.79 billion rupees ($2.7 billion), CARE said.
Aircel was not immediately reachable for a comment. ($1 = 64.9500 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal and Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)