GTL restructures $300-m foreign currency bonds

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 9 2012, 05:49am hrs
Debt-laden GTL Infrastructure said it has completed the restructuring of its outstanding foreign convertible bonds worth $300 million due November 29, 2012.

Of the $320 million, 35% or $111.7 million would be converted into equity at a premium of about 28% over Wednesdays closing price of R7.82. GTL Infra, which builds, owns, operates and maintains network towers, said the bonds will be converted into shares at R10 each and will lead to a R600 crore increase in shareholders funds, once the bonds are converted.

The remaining 65% of the outstanding bonds amounting to $207.5 million can be converted into equity at a premium of 62% over closing price of Wednesday, GTL said. The restructuring has been approved by Reserve Bank of India and Singapore Stock Exchange, senior CDR Lenders, Shareholders and Bond Holders.

In July this year, the company said it set up a committee to restructure its outstanding dollar convertible bonds due in November. A slowdown in the economy and weakening of the rupee that hit record lows this year have made it tough for Indian companies to repay debt. The company has a debt of R11, 986.5 crore as of March 31, 2012.

In 2011, the company went into corporate debt restructuring as it had borrowed a lot to finance its acquisition of Aircels shares. The company had bought 17,500 towers from telecom operator Aircel for R8,026 crore. Last month, the company posted a net loss of R78.2 crore in the July-September quarter, compared with a loss of R208 crore in the corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

The successful completion of the restructuring of the FCCBs and rupee debt with the support of the bondholders/lenders demonstrates their belief and conviction in the managements vision to establish GTL Infra as the leading passive telecom infrastructure provider in India, chairman Manoj Tirodkar said.

GTL Infra share closed up 6.78% at 8.35 on Thursday on the Bombay Stock Exchange. They have lost 17% of their value in the last one year. GTL Infra is a Global Group Enterprise and of the few tower companies that is not owned by a telecom operator.