Indian wind group Suzlon claimed its debt restructuring effort “is progressing well” as it was asked to explain movements in its share price a day after disclosing $1bn-worth of loan defaults.
Suzlon – which is attempting to agree a deal that reportedly will involve its lenders taking a steep ‘haircut’ on what’s owed to them – confirmed it has submitted a plan based on splitting its debt pile into “sustainable and unsustainable” portions.
It told the Mumbai stock exchange: “The restructuring process is progressing well, however the same is a complex process and still [a] few other steps are under process including approval of the Lender Group.”
The statement came a day after Suzlon disclosed it had defaulted on loan principal and interest totalling 72.56bn rupees ($1bn) as of March 2019. The group’s total borrowings from banks and financial institutions stand at 127.8bn rupees, with another 12.6bn rupees in foreign currency bonds, according to the regulatory filing.
The money is owed to a State Bank of India-led consortium of 18 banks and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.
Suzlon’s shares – which had almost doubled since the turn of the year – went into reverse following the disclosure, losing 10% of their value on Wednesday and prompting Mumbai regulators to seek clarification from the wind group. Suzlon said there was no price-sensitive information undisclosed to the market.
Denying earlier reports that it was about to tip into bankruptcy, Suzlon said in September that it had until January 2020 to reach an agreement with creditors before any “extreme measures” by its lenders. Founder Tulsi Tanti was quoted by local media last month as saying bankers understand that India “cannot afford” to lose Suzlon.
Suzlon has seen its commercial position stagnate due to the twin drags of its own financial pressures and a tough Indian wind power market.
It posted a second-quarter loss of 7.8bn ($108m) rupees for the three months ending September, widening from a year earlier 6.27bn rupees, as CEO JP Chalasani admitted Suzlon’s “operations are at a subdued level with minimal allocation of funding as we are trying to fix our capital structure”.
The pressure ramped up further when reported separate debt restructuring packages involving investment by Canada’s Brookfield and Danish OEM Vestas came to nothing.