RGPPL lenders seek more loans as equity

By: and | Updated: January 2, 2015 12:06 PM

Want to convert another Rs 525 cr, else could become NPA

Ratnagiri Gas and Power, RGPPL, loans, equity, non-performing asset, BK Batra, IDBI BankLenders to troubled Ratnagiri Gas and Power (RGPPL) have approached the company’s board asking they be allowed to convert another Rs 525 crore of loans into equity.

Lenders to troubled Ratnagiri Gas and Power (RGPPL) have approached the company’s board asking they be allowed to convert another Rs 525 crore of loans into equity, according to a senior official in the company.

With RGGPL not having paid banks this quarter, it now owes them R525 crore till December 31, 2014. If the amount is not converted into equity, the account could turn into a non-performing asset.

BK Batra, Deputy Managing Director, IDBI Bank, told a television channel on Tuesday that the exposure remained a standard asset.

“If you are talking about the present stage…it is standard and we are working together with all stakeholders to keep it standard and restart this plant and make it viable. My expectation is that it will continue to remain standard.”

Loans amounting to Rs 405 crore were converted into equity in October this year and lenders — State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank — now own 27% in the company. RGPPL’s total outstandings to the consortium are in the region of R8,500 crore. The banks are understood to have told RGPPL that they would not ask for another conversion till March next year if this request is accepted. Before the conversion takes place, however, the company’s authorised share capital of R3,500 crore will need to be raised to R4,000 crore, which could take a few months.

The Maharashtra government, which now has a 15.2% stake in the company, is understood to have opposed the debt-to-equity conversion in the last round in October whereas the other stakeholders including NTPC and GAIL India, which own 28.8% each, had backed the lenders. In fact, the banks had escalated the matter to the central government, saying they would put the proposal to vote if the state government refused to allow the conversion.

RGPPL, which operates the 1,967 MW Dabhol gas-based power project, last made an interest payment of about R80 crore in late May this year, according to another RGPPL official. There have been no more payments till date after May.

The lenders have also been pressing for the sale of the LNG degasification terminal at the power plant but the other shareholders are not in favour of doing so.

The state government, sources said, is against the sale of the terminal since that would mean giving up the only cash-generating asset. The Dabhol plant was to have been supplied gas from the KG-D6 Basin but in the absence of the fuel has been lying idle.At a time when biggies like SpiceJet are bleeding, a Coimbatore-based start-up airline has its flight plan charted out. Air Carnival, which got a no-objection certificate from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in June for the southern region, is aiming at a launch by March-April 2015.

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