Insolvency process: Lenders resolve two large stressed power sector assets

Lenders have finalised the sale of two large stressed power sector assets — GMR Chhattisgarh Energy and Prayagraj Power Generation Company — avoiding any need for insolvency proceedings against the companies.

In the first case, a former subsidiary of Jaiprakash Associates, Prayagraj owes lenders about Rs 110 billion in outstanding loans. Earlier, lenders took a controlling stake in the power producer under the strategic debt restructuring (SDR) scheme, which allows the conversion of loans into equity.

Despite the company undergoing the SDR process, there was a risk that lenders will have to refer the company for insolvency proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) if they could not arrive at a deal.

On Monday, Resurgent Power Ventures, a company backed by the Tata Group and ICICI Ventures, won the bidding process for acquiring Prayagraj Power with an offer to pay Rs 60 billion upfront in cash, sources said.

JSW Energy had made a similar cash offer to lenders. However, the offer of Resurgent Power, which is a fund that focuses on power projects, included a 15 per cent equity stake for the banks.

In the second case, GMR Chhattisgarh Energy owes lenders a total of Rs 58 billion and lenders had taken over the company from GMR infrastructure. 

They implemented a restructuring plan last year, which converted around Rs 30 billion of the company’s debt into close to 52 per cent of equity.

In May, the Power Finance Corporation said that Adani Power, JSW Energy, Vedanta and state-run NLC India were in the race to acquire GMR Chhattisgarh, having submitted non-binding bids for the company.

On Monday, lenders approved of the bid by Gautam Adani’s Adani Power, which will take over around Rs 38 billion outstanding debt of the company. Further, Adani Power will also take over non-funded liabilities of around Rs 14 billion. A formal announcement is expected in the coming week.

GMR Chhattisgarh has two 685 mega-watt coal-fired units that began operations in 2015 and 2016. 

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