The board of the cash strapped Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) met on Saturday to approve a resolution plan and discuss strategies for the company to raise funds to tide over the cash crunch. At the emergency meeting, IL&FS’s largest shareholder, LIC, which holds 25.34%, is believed to have agreed to subscribe to the forthcoming rights issue and extend some immediate working capital loan.
Meanwhile, LIC managing director Hemant Bhargava who was the non-executive chairman of ILFS, has stepped down from the position with immediate effect, but will continue to be on the board as a director. The company has appointed SB Mathur, a past chairman of LIC, as the new non-executive chairman.
In a separate notice late Saturday, IL&FS said it was unable to repay debt on certain commercial papers that were due on September 14 and that it has received notices for delays and defaults in servicing some inter-corporate deposits, resulting in a downgrade in ratings.
Over the last 60 days, IL&FS and its subsidiaries have seen a cash crunch, resulting in a flurry of downgrades. It needs to pay just over Rs 600 crore to mutual funds alone in the next two weeks.
As per sources, IL&FS will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in 15 days from now to finalise capital-raising plans. IL&FS said two weeks ago its board of directors had approved a rights issue of Rs 4,500 crore. The company plans to issue 30 crore equity shares at Rs 150 each by October 30. Separately, IL&FS’ roads development subsidiary, IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL), has also announced a rights issue of Rs 3,000 crore.
“All the shareholders expressed their concerns as things at IL&FS are not fine now. Some solutions have been decided at today’s meeting,” said a source. Since the company has got some real estate assets, shareholders have asked it to liquidate them to generate cash. There has been reports that it has even put on block its headquarters here for around Rs 1300 crore.
As per Nomura India, IL&FS has a debt pile of Rs 91,000 crore, with Rs 57,000 crore due to banks, mostly to state-run lenders. Its roads development subsidiary has a debt burden of Rs 35,000 crore. At ITNL’s annual general meeting on September 4, the company’s MD, K Ramchand, said with the planned asset sales across the group of 25 projects across its roads and energy portfolios, as well as some of its revenue-generating business verticals, ITNL plans to cut its own debt down to Rs 2,000-3,000 crore in the next six to nine months. He also said ITNL has filed claims with various government authorities for about Rs 10,000 crore for cost escalations. Ramchand added the company will exit the toll projects business and focus purely on cash contracts, or projects under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) method.
Apart from LIC, Orix Corporation of Japan owns 23.5% in IL&FS, while Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has a 12.5% stake. HDFC owns 9%, while Central Bank of India owns 7.67% and State Bank of India 6.42%.