Ailing Altico in talks with 3 strategic investors

Published: September 28, 2019 7:28:38 AM

It could not be immediately ascertained whether any of the PE partners have agreed to the lenders’ demand.

FE had reported on September 20 that the lenders to Altico have asked private equity funds (PEs) to infuse more equity capital into the cash-strapped NBFC.

Shubhra Tandon & Mitali Salian

Altico Capital India is currently in talks with three strategic investors who could invest Rs 1,500-2,000 crore in the cash-strapped non-banking financial company (NBFC) by acquiring a controlling stake. Sources told FE that these investors could include private or public-sector banks, large realty funds and some NBFCs. FE has learned that Kotak Realty Fund is one of the contenders.

The company is expected to finalise an acquirer in the next one month and the deal could close in 3 to 6 months. In addition, the company may also get some short-term funds to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore by way of sale of some of its existing loans and assets.

The sources also said that lenders want the matter to be resolved by way of the above resolution plan, failing which they could move on by signing the inter-creditor agreement (ICA). “Getting into an ICA is not a preferred mode at present,” a source with knowledge of the developments said.

As regards current operations at the company, sources said that it had stopped lending fresh loans about 10-11 months back, while current business entailed funding the existing commitments of the borrowers. “Lenders have not asked to stop these, rather take a pause for 10-15 days”. However, banking sources have claimed that the company has been instructed not to carry out any related-party transactions or allow any third-party involvement without lenders’ consent. Bankers are expected to meet separately on execution of ICA or any further course of action.

“Bankers have begun the valuation of the company and forensic audit in keeping with the procedure,” said a banking source. However, the crisis-ridden wholesale NBFC has been told to refrain from giving any fresh loans. “Bankers have stated to the company in no uncertain terms that related-party transactions to not be allowed. Also, (there should be) no third-party involvement without bankers’ consent (including fresh funding),” said another source.

In another move, the company has also been asked to submit a resolution plan in the next two to three weeks’ time, a source said. FE had reported on September 20 that the lenders to Altico have asked private equity funds (PEs) to infuse more equity capital into the cash-strapped NBFC.

Representatives of Clearwater Capital Partners, Varde Partners and Abu Dhabi Investment Council, shareholders in Altico, are understood to have asked lenders to restructure their debt at a meeting on Monday. It could not be immediately ascertained whether any of the PE partners have agreed to the lenders’ demand.

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