Infrastructure financing major IL&FS Group has approved a rights issue of up to Rs 4,500 crore and a plan to dispose 25 of its infrastructure assets over the next one year in order to cut its debt pile from over Rs 37,000 crore to less than Rs 10,000 crore. IL&FS\u2019 management said the rights issue would be open to the public with the company offering 30 crore equity shares at Rs 150 per share. The issue would be completed by October 30 with the proceeds being utilised to recapitalise group companies \u2014 IL&FS Financial Services, IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL), IL&FS Energy, IL&FS Environment and IL&FS Education \u2014 to the extent of Rs 5,000 crore. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the largest shareholder in IL&FS with a 25.3% stake. Through the asset divestment plan, IL&FS expects to reduce its overall debt by about Rs 30,000 crore. The company said it has identified a portfolio of 25 projects for sale and it already has firm offers for 14 projects. Earlier this month, FE had reported ITNL, the roads development arm, is in talks with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to sell its roads portfolio. ITNL was also in talks with Cube Highways to sell its Chenani Nashri tunnel (CNT) project but has now decided to refinance the project with its lenders. IL&FS said it expects to complete its divestment plan over the next 12 to 18 months. It noted that the company is over-leveraged and is facing a liquidity shortfall of about Rs 16,000 crore which is stuck in claims and termination payments with the government. \u201cWhilst the government has taken several measures to expedite settlement and streamline the process, it will take two to three years more to unlock these pools of liquidity for the company,\u201d IL&FS said in a statement. The company also approved approaching its shareholders for support to the extent of Rs 9,000 crore. IL&FS was downgraded by ratings agency Icra earlier this month due to high debt, slow asset monetisation and deterioration in the credit profile of its subsidiaries. In July, long-serving chairman Ravi Parthasarthy resigned from the company. Following this, the board unanimously appointed LIC MD Hemant Bhargava in his stead as the new non-executive chairman.