BT: Asset monetisation: IL&FS to put on block Rs 8,000 cr in first bidding process

17 March 2019: Beleaguered Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Group will receive first set of bids under asset monetisation process on Monday as part of resolution process proposed by Uday Kotak-led new board, suggested media report.

The company’s board will later consider bids for Rs 8,000 crore renewable energy business that was put on the sale in November 2018, PTI quoted source as saying. 

The government had formed banker Uday Kotak-led board after NCLT approved a resolution of the liquidity crisis at IL&FS in wake of its bulky debt of Rs 94,000 crore.

The renewable energy business constitutes of operating wind power plants with an aggregate capacity of 873.5-MW, and under-construction such plants with 104-MW capacity. It also includes the solar power business, under which it has around 300-MW of under-construction projects, the agency reported. 

This would be the first set of bids that will be opened under the asset monetisation process as part of the resolution process by government-appointed board, the agency said. The board also proposed to cut two-thirds of the jobs across the group as part of its initiatives towards rationalised manpower with a view to reduce costs.

The cash-strapped company had decided to sell assets across businesses, including roads, education, renewable energy, and broking in November last year, it added. 

As per the sources, nearly twenty five companies participated in the expression of interest sought by the company that ended on December 10, 2018. 

The IL&FS group is facing serious liquidity crisis and has defaulted on interest payment on various debt repayments since August 27. 

Last month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned former ILF&S group chief financial officer Maharudra Wagle and also carried out raids across multiple locations in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai concerning financial irregularities in the company. 

The ED had registered a case against the IL&FS’s top officials including its former chairman Ravi Parthasarathy, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The probe agency reportedly searched the premises of the infrastructure lender’s former officials and seized various property documents and incriminating records/media.

Recently, an audit conducted by Grant Thornton revealed various financial irregularities in company’s deals with financial implications of over Rs 13,000 crore during special audit conducted by the firm.

Business Today reported

FE: BSNL to approach NCLT this week against RCom to recover Rs 700 cr

17 March 2019: State-owned telecom firm BSNL will approach National Company Law Tribunal this week to recover dues of about Rs 700 crore from Reliance Communications, according to official sources.

Earlier, debt-ridden RCom in its plea before the NCLAT said that it wants to voluntarily go back into the insolvency process, as it will help selling its assets in a time bound manner. It had moved the appellate tribunal, seeking directions to the 37 lenders led by SBI to release Rs 260 crore directly to Ericsson. However, lenders of RCom have opposed the plea, saying that it will lead to outgo of public money for settling payment of a private party.

“BSNL has aready invoked bank guarantee of around Rs 100 crore submitted by RCom for default on payments. Decision was taken on January 4 by BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava to start legal proceedings against RCom for recovery of dues of around Rs 700 crore,” the sources told PTI.

BSNL has roped Singh and Kohli law firm for the suit. The case filing got delayed due to collection of invoices from all circle offices.

RCom has been struggling to pay Rs 453 crore out of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson under a settlement reached between the two firms before NCLAT.

The Supreme Court has given time till March 19 to RCom Group to make payment to Ericsson, failing which its chairman Anil Ambani will have to serve three month jail term. RCom has already paid Rs 118 crore to Ericsson. It approached the NCLAT to direct SBI to release Rs 260 crore which the company has received as income tax refund in trust and retentionship account held at the public sector bank as it will help company in making payment to Ericsson and purge contempt of court.

The NCLAT on Friday declined to issue any direction to SBI and has asked for update on development with regard to payment of Ericsson due on March 19. The tribunal will hear the case of April 8.

The Financial Express reported