Franklin MF sees Rs 616 cr default from Essel Infra in four schemes

Franklin Templeton MF
Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund (FT MF), in an update on Friday, disclosed default of maturity payments of Rs 616 crore on the zero-coupon bond exposures to Essel Infraprojects. These debt papers were held at varied exposure levels in four of the six schemes being wound-up by the fund house.

The schemes holding the non-convertible debentures (NCDs) included Franklin Low Duration Fund (exposure of Rs 44 crore), Short Term Income Plan (Rs 29 crore), Credit Risk Fund (Rs 16 crore) and Dynamic Accrual Fund (Rs 4 crore), which are currently under the wind-up process.

The fund house pointed out that it had appointed a legal counsel and was actively considering all necessary actions to maximise recovery value. “The schemes will continuously monitor the developments in Essel Infraprojects and take appropriate steps in the best interests of the unit-holders,” the fund house said in its note.

The NCDs had already been ‘fair valued’ at Rs 92 crore in FT MFs’ scheme portfolios. These were valued at 15 per cent of the maturity value after providing a haircut of 85 per cent.

The fund house said the event does not have any impact on the net asset values (NAVs) of the schemes as of May 22, compared to their NAVs as of May 21. As the securities have matured on May 22, the maturity receivables will continue to be valued at Rs 92 crore. 

“This only reflects the realisable value basis the current share cover and does not indicate any reduction or write-off of the amount repayable by Essel Infraprojects. The valuation would be monitored daily and the receivable will be adjusted to reflect any material change in the share cover (listed equity shares),” FT MF stated.  

The NCDs issued by Essel Infraprojects are backed by a pledge of listed shares of Zee Entertainment, Dish TV, unlisted shares of Essel Infraprojects, personal guarantee of Essel group chairman Subhash Chandra and corporate guarantee.

MF players have in the past come under pressure owing to their exposures to Essel group. Last year, fund houses had entered into a ‘standstill’ agreement with promoters of Essel group, wherein they'd not invoke the pledged shares of the Essel group promoters and give extended timelines for settling the dues. The agreement had drawn ire of the regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). 

As part of the wind-up process of its yield-oriented schemes, FT MF had recently appointed the debt capital market (DCM) team of Kotak Mahindra Bank to expedite the process of monetisation of the investments in these schemes.

The fund house has also been reaching out to unitholders to inform them about the voting process, that would be required to authorise trustees to monetise portfolio investments. The DCM team of Kotak Mahindra Bank will be assisting the trustees in this process.

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