A consortium of lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI) has opposed the insolvency plea by ICICI Bank against infrastructure major Punj Lloyd for the outstanding debt of Rs 852 crore. The lenders opposed ICICI Bank on Thursday in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), saying that Punj Lloyd, which has a total of Rs 6,000 crore outstanding debt, has an asset base that covers only 5% and a full recovery of their outstanding dues is possible only if the company is allowed to complete the 28 ongoing projects.
The principal bench of NCLT headed by President Justice M M Kumar directed to list the matter on July 24 for next hearing. Earlier in the day, Punj Llyod expressed hope that the insolvency plea against the company by ICICI Bank would not be admitted. The company on Thursday said that ICICI Bank has moved NCLT for its insolvency but 90% of its lenders support the debt restructuring plan under the RBI guidelines.
In a meeting of the lenders of the company held on June 13, 2018, more than 90 per cent of the lenders have agreed for restructuring its outstanding debts of the company, it added.
Punj Lloyd reported a standalone profit of Rs 944 crore for the quarter ended March 2018. The company had said in its Q4 earnings report that a part of its financial restructuring will be towards paring debt and strengthening the balance sheet and has submitted a proposal to its lenders for the restructuring of its debt. The restructuring proposal was being reviewed by the lenders as per the latest RBI guidelines.
Punj Lloyd Group is a diversified international conglomerate offering EPC services in energy and infrastructure along with engineering and manufacturing capabilities in the defence sector.