New Delhi, Mar 1: Telecom operator Aircel on Wednesday said that it has filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors saying increased losses and unsustainable debts pushed the company to “troubled times” in “highly financially stressed” industry. In an official statement, Aircel said, “Significant negative business and reputational impact on the company due to unsustainable debt and increased losses.” Also Read - Why London High Court Thinks Vijay Mallya Should be Given More Time

The Board of Directors acknowledged that the company has been facing troubled times owing to “intense competition, high level of unsustainable debt and increased losses.” Also Read - Anil Ambani, 4 Others Resign as Directors of Reliance Communications Over Bankruptcy

“The Board of Directors of the Corporate Debtor today announced that they have filed an application under Section 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 for undertaking Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process for the respective companies: Aircel Cellular, Dishnet Wireless, Aircel Ltd,” the statement said. (Also Read: Aircel Employees Panic on Being Asked to ‘Brace For More Difficult Times Ahead’) Also Read - NCLT Admits SBI's Plea Against Jet Airways' Bankruptcy, Sets 90 days for Resolution

Aircel, 74 per cent 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. The company’s official statement also stated that efforts to merge wireless business with another operator did not yield any results and had ultimately lapsed in September 2017.

“Post detailed discussions with the financial lenders and shareholders, the company could not reach consensus with respect to restructuring of its debt and funding. Despite these discussions and the invoking of a Strategic Debt Restructuring scheme in January 2018…no agreement could be reached,” Aircel said.

Running out of all the options, the company filed bankruptcy in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai.

Aircel recently shut its services in six circles – Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (West).

With agency inputs.