Looks to open joint stock company Sibmost as concessionaire of four-laning project.
Lenders, led by State Bank of India (SBI), have invited bids to replace a special purpose vehicle (SPV) promoted by Era Infra Engineering and open joint stock company Sibmost as the concessionaire of a project involving four-laning of a 151-km stretch along NH-24 extending between Bareilly and Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh, according to a bid document. The SPV operating the projects is called Bareilly Highway Projects. According to a bid document, the project’s total debt stood at Rs 1,773 crore at the end of November 2018, while accrued interest was to the tune of Rs 305.35 crore. Era Infra was part of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) first list of large non-performing assets (NPAs).
The concession agreement was signed between Bareilly Highway Projects, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the lenders on December 16, 2010. “The concessionaire has since come under stress and not been able to perform its obligations in relation to the facilities, thereby constituting financial default. Accordingly, in terms of Clause 36.4 of the concession agreement, the relevant provisions of the substitution agreement, and the circular…on Resolution of Stressed Assets – Revised Framework dated February 12, 2018, the lenders have decided to undertake a competitive bid process to select the nominated company to substitute the concessionaire,” the lenders said in the bid document.
Apart from SBI, the other lenders to the road project are Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank (PNB), India Infrastructure Finance Company, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) and Vijaya Bank. The bidding process is being run by SBI Capital Markets (SBICaps). The last date for interested bidders to send expressions of interest (EoIs) is December 31. The total project cost stood at Rs 2,817 crore as per a CA certificate dated March 30, 2018, up 44% from the original cost of Rs 1,951 crore. “As per the report dated March 2018 issued by the Lenders Independent Engineer (LIE), entire land of 1,042.25 hectares required for the project has been acquired by the company,” the lenders said in the document. The project is yet to achieve provisional commercial operation date.
As per the agreement signed in December 2010, the concession period is 20 years from the appointed date of March 1, 2011. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had on May 9 ordered the initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process for Era Infra & Engineering under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The debt-ridden realty firm, which owes lenders a little over Rs 10,000 crore, was referred to the NCLT by Union Bank of India.