The Winsome Group has requested its consortium of lenders to give a special dispensation for restructuring its R6,000-crore loan. According to a senior official in the company, banks have been requested to allow promoter contribution worth R250 crore to come in two instalments, of which the first will happen now and the second a year later.
According to the new guidelines, promoters are required to bring the entire contribution up front before the loan is restructured by banks.
While Punjab National Bank (PNB), the leader of the 15 bank consortium, is yet to take a call on whether the loan should be recast via the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) cell, the fact that the promoters haven’t come up with their contribution of R250 crore, could compel the banks to write off the money. “If the company can't bring in R250 crore, how can we expect it to repay R6,000 crore," a senior executive at Central Bank of India had said.
The company had blamed negative news flow for its inability to raise enough money to bring the promoter contribution. As a part of the debt recast plan, banks had asked promoter Jatin Mehta to come back as the company's chairman, however, there has been no development from Winsome's side on this.
Mehta had stepped down from the position of chairman in 2012 and currently operates out of Dubai and Singapore. Till March this year, the company’s board had seven members but after news of the company’s loan default broke, five board members have resigned. Currently, the board consists of only two members, Parikh and R Ravichandran, director, operations.
While bankers do possess the personal guarantee from Mehta, the value of these properties and his net worth could not be ascertained. Most lenders have already classified Winsome Diamonds' R4,000 crore exposure and Forever Precious Jewellery & Diamonds' R2,000 crore loan as non-performing assets (NPA).
The company had exported gold jewellery but reportedly did not receive any payments from its customers as a result of which its cash flows collapsed. Customers owe Winsome $875 million and group company Forever Diamonds close to $385