Company defaults on payment of `243 cr; hires global firm Alvarez & Marsal.
Even as debt-laden IL&FS defaulted on more repayments on Saturday, the IL&FS board, at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM), said it expects its largest shareholder, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), as well as state-owned State Bank of India (SBI), to infuse more capital by subscribing to its proposed Rs 4,500-crore rights issue.
While LIC has a 25.34% stake, Orix Corporation of Japan, its second-biggest shareholder, with a 23.5% holding, is yet to decide on raising its stake. HDFC, with a 9.02% share, is unwilling to increase its exposure. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Central Bank of India hold 12.56% and 7.67% each, respectively.
In a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Saturday, IL&FS said it has defaulted on payments of Rs 242.93 crore, of which Rs 71.33 crore is a term loan, and the remaining were due as interest and principal repayments on non-convertible debentures.
In a video statement issued to reporters late Saturday evening, Hari Sankaran, IL&FS group vice-chairman and managing director, said the company has appointed global turnaround management and performance improvement services firm Alvarez and Marsal. He said, “They will develop a comprehensive, detailed plan for restructuring of the group in order to demonstrate to creditors and shareholders the intrinsic value of the group was sufficient in repaying its liabilities.. We will also continue to pursue an application under Section 230 of the Companies Act to ensure we have the moratorium we require to satisfy creditors and shareholders.”
FE reported on September 26 that IL&FS’ road development subsidiary IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL) has sought to prevent creditors of 13 of its infrastructure projects from hauling them to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
The company has filed an application with the Mumbai bench of the NCLT, seeking relief relating to filing for a scheme of arrangement under Section 230 of the Companies Act.
IL&FS is hoping to be able to restructure debt and revisit their arrangement with the consent of their lenders. Lawyers that FE spoke with said if creditors with a minimum exposure value of 75% give their approval, then IL&FS can make an application under Section 230 of the Companies Act. Mohit Chaudhary, managing partner, Kings and Alliance, explained that once Section 230 is triggered, lenders cannot take any action against the company until an agreement is hammered out. However, he added: “If the scheme between the company and its creditors is approved, this cannot be challenged in court unless 10% of the company’s shareholders or creditors with an exposure value of 5% of the outstanding amount challenge it.”
Chaudhary added: “The idea is to get some breathing time.”
IL&FS did not disclose whether shareholders voted to increase the authorised share capital of the company, which was one of the items on the agenda that was put to vote at the AGM.
Shareholders who attended the AGM later told FE that the IL&FS board said it expects to realise between Rs 12,000 crore and R16,000 crore by selling 14 of its operational road assets of the 19 projects in ITNL. Earlier this month, the company’s management had told FE it has identified 25 assets across the group, including various subsidiaries such as IL&FS Cluster Development, water and waste-to-energy projects. A shareholder said IL&FS has kept a timeline of 45 days to get the legal framework in place in order to be able to sell the assets. Another shareholder said the management also hinted at retrenchments, as well as salary and bonus cuts to reduce costs. A majority of people who spoke to FE were preference shareholders and are against a distress sale of assets.