December 4, 2017 / 2:47 PM / in 12 days

Indian public relations firm files insolvency plea against RCom

MUMBAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Fortuna Public Relations Pvt. Ltd has filed an insolvency petition against phone carrier Reliance Communications Ltd over a claim for unpaid dues of 4.4 million rupees ($68,000), a lawyer representing the public relations firm said on Monday.

Separately, Fortuna has filed another insolvency petition against Reliance Webstore Ltd, a unit of the phone carrier, over unpaid dues of about 4.1 million rupees, said Darshan Mehta, a partner at Mumbai law firm Dhruve Liladhar & Co, which is representing Fortuna in the two cases.

The National Company Law Tribunal will hear the two cases next on Dec. 19, Mehta said.

A spokesman for Reliance Communications declined to comment.

The insolvency pleas follow two separate insolvency petitions filed by China Development Bank and telecoms gearmaker Ericsson.

RCom, backed by businessman Anil Ambani, has struggled under a heavy debt load and has reported a string of losses during a price war in the highly competitive Indian telecoms market, prompting it to announce a partial shutdown of operations.

CDB, which sources have said is owed nearly $2 billion, last month filed a petition with the National Company Law Tribunal, making it the first financial creditor to drag RCom into insolvency proceedings. ($1 = 64.3880 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Keith Weir)

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