In an attempt to deleverage their balance sheets, corporates have been shedding assets for close to two years now, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. On Wednesday, Bharti Airtel sold 3,100 towers across Africa for an estimated Rs 2,200 crore. Over the last 18 months, 21 companies have together divested assets and sold equity worth roughly R80,000 crore or about a fifth of their debt. Crisil expects firms to raise at least another R60,000 crore this year through asset sales though the rating agency points out that this would have only a limited impact on the credit profiles of the companies since operating cash flows would also fall.
Given more than 90% of transactions involved cash-generating assets, the debt-to-Ebitda multiple of these firms is expected to improve only marginally from close to nine times as at the end of March to just below eight times over the next one year. Crisil points out that thanks to expansion and diversification plans, the total debt of these 21 companies over the past three years has risen by nearly 50% to R4.4 lakh crore as at the end of March.