LIC comes to the rescue of ILFS; board approves revival plan at emergency meeting

15 September 2018, 10:34 PM
LIC comes to the rescue of ILFS; board approves revival plan at emergency meeting (Photo- Twitter)
LIC comes to the rescue of ILFS; board approves revival plan at emergency meeting (Photo- Twitter)

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&FSs largest shareholder, LIC, which holds 25.34 per cent, is believed to have agreed to subscribe to the forthcoming rights issue and extend some immediate working capital loan.

Meanwhile, sources said 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.

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The company has also learnt to have appointed SB Mathur, a past chairman of LIC as the new non-executive chairman.  The company needs an immediate capital infusion of around Rs 3,000 crore from its shareholders.

In a meeting held earlier this week, key shareholders of the debt-ridden company including LIC, SBI and HDFC had kept a pre-condition for it to raise funds through its assets or non-core businesses, before any additional money could be pumped in.

“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 one of the sources.

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.

IL&FS is also looking to raise Rs 4,500 crore through a rights issue.

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The company expects to reduce its overall debt by Rs 30,000 crore by divestment of its assets. It is sitting on a debt pile of over Rs 91,000 crore as of March 2018.

“Out of a portfolio of 25 projects identified for sale, firm offers have already been received for 14 projects.  We expect to complete the divestment plan over the next 12 to 18 months,” the company said in a release issued on August 29.

The release said the current situation of over-leverage and illiquidity had risen as a significant percentage of the groups liquidity, aggregating to over Rs 16,000 crore, was stuck in claims and termination payments.

On September 4, it came to light that IL&FS defaulted on a short-term loan of Rs 1,000 crore from Sidbi, while a subsidiary has also defaulted Rs 500 crore dues to the development finance institution.

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The company is sitting on a debt pile of around Rs 91,000 crore and had been downgraded to junk status by rating agencies following the default. Of this, Rs 57,000 crore are bank loans alone, most of which are from state-run lenders.

While IL&FS has nearly Rs 35,000 crore consolidated debt, IL&FS Financial Services has Rs 17,000 crore of debt, which sits as standard asset for most of the lenders, according to a Nomura India report.

First Published: Saturday, September 15, 2018 10:23 PM

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