Suzlon feels financial woes over with REC-led refinance; looks to raise Rs 1,200 cr in FY23 from rights issue
He said the recent developments on debt side, which saw Rural Electrification Corporation REC and Ireda taking over Rs 3,000 crore of debt through a refinance and an SBI-led 16-bank consortium settling for a 5 per cent equity in the company for the remaining Rs 3,500-crore exposure, will help strengthen its balance sheet.
Suzlon Group feels the financial difficulties that afflicted the wind turbine maker are behind it, with the over Rs 3,000-crore debt refinance led by REC. The Pune-based company, which once struggled to pay its over Rs 6,500 crore debt, feels its order book, pipeline of potential business and government policies are other tailwinds that will offer support, a senior official has said. It is looking to raise up to Rs 1,200 crore through a rights issue of shares by the fiscal-end to pare the refinanced debt of Rs 3,000 crore, its Chief Financial Officer Himanshu Mody told PTI. He said the recent developments on debt side, which saw Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Ireda taking over Rs 3,000 crore of debt through a refinance and an SBI-led 16-bank consortium settling for a 5 per cent equity in the company for the remaining Rs 3,500-crore exposure, will help strengthen its balance sheet. ''The financial woes are behind us. We have a healthy balance sheet, good order book and a strong pipeline,'' Mody said. He said having two lenders who have better understanding of the sector it operates in will help it reduce the bureaucratic challenges posed while being in a consortium of lenders and take advantage of business growth opportunities timely. Right now, the debt to operating profit ratio stands at 3:1, and the same may go up as it borrows more for working capital needs, but overall, the trajectory on the debt profile is towards improvement, he noted. Mody said scheduled debt repayments will get the debt levels down to Rs 2,500 crore but the company wants to trim it further. With this in mind, its board has approved raising up to Rs 1,200 crore through a rights issue of shares, which Mody said will happen in FY23, and also monetisation of non-core assets. Mody declined to provide any further details on the non-core assets which it plans to sell, but exuded confidence that it will be able to realise sizeable amount through the divestment. The debt owed to REC and Ireda is long term in nature, but the tenor is significantly lesser than the earlier 20 years for the term loans from the banks' consortium, he said. The company does not have any major investment plans beyond operational capital expenditure (capex) which can be funded through working capital lines, and will be focusing on improving its capacity utilisation, he added. It has an order book to deliver up to 700 MW of capacity, Mody said, pegging the pipeline of deals it is chasing at a similar level. Government policies, including last month's announcement of taking a relook at the e-reverse auction of wind energy projects with a view to removing it, are positives which are helping the wind energy sector, he said. The company does not have any major contribution from exports in its Rs 1,378 crore revenue (in Q1 FY23), and will be now able to chase deals outside India as well as the conditions imposed by the bankers’ consortium have also ended, he said. It is also undertaking a year-long exercise to reduce the number of subsidiaries to 24 from the present 44 entities to increase transparency, Mody said. A one-time gain helped the company post a huge profit of Rs 2,433 crore in the June quarter. Mody said the operating profit of Rs 214 crore can be sustained going forward as well, given the visibility that it has. He also said two credit rating agencies have upgraded its debt to investment grade after the debt refinance scheme was carried out.
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