The coronavirus lockdown in India forced wind group Suzlon to delay an extraordinary meeting of shareholders called to discuss a financial restructuring vital to its future.
Suzlon was due to hold the meeting in Ahmedabad yesterday (24 March) to seek approval for a sweeping package of measures to restructure its $1.5bn debt pile, clearing the way to convert loans to equity in the company and allow the management to sell assets.
But Suzlon said a lockdown barring all non-essential activity in the state of Gujarat meant the EGM has been postponed to 7 April.
India is taking increasingly urgent measures to control the Covid-19 outbreak, and on Tuesday said wind and solar projects could cite force majeure over delays to meeting national and state tender deadlines.
Suzlon’s board agreed the restructuring measures on 27 February after a late-night meeting.
The list includes the issuing of equity shares converted from debt and the authority for “divestment/dilution/disposal” of the company’s investments or assets.
The deal lines up Suzlon’s existing backers, including founder Tulsi Tanti and Indian billionaire Dilip Shanghvi, to inject 4bn rupees ($55m) in return for shares or other instruments.
Suzlon booked a net loss of 7.43bn rupees ($104m) for its latest financial quarter ending 31 December, as it admitted its wind turbine operations were “at a subdued level with nominal allocation of capital”.