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Covid delays IL&FS China asset sale, Singapore bondholders asked to defer winding up
Mumbai, March 31 - ITNL Offshore PTE Ltd (IOPL), a Singapore-based subsidiary of IL&FS owned ITNL, on Tuesday said the company is "committed to engaging in consensual discussion with Trustees wrt its obligations under the Notes and distribution of any recoveries from repayment of loan".
IOPL informed this to the stock exchanges in reaction to the winding-up petition filed by Singapore Bondholders seeking resolution of $141 million bonds issued by the company.
ITNL Offshore PTE Ltd (IOPL) and IL&FS International PTE Ltd (IIPL) are two Singapore-based subsidiaries of IL&FS Transport Network Limited (ITNL), a subsidiary of IL&FS.
IOPL had raised $141 million dim-sum bonds, at 7.5 per cent, payable in 2021, guaranteed by ITNL. These funds were advanced as unsecured loans to IIPL to refinance its liabilities. IIPL holds investments in China, the UAE and the US with Chongqing Yuhe Expressway Co. Ltd (CYEL) being the biggest asset under IIPL.
IOPL also informed the exchanges that its only material asset was the unsecured loan advanced to IIPL and it was expecting to realize the same once the sale process - commenced by IIPL of its stake held in Chongqing Yuhe Expressway - was completed. As per information received by the Company from IIPL, the sale process was progressing well, but has been temporarily affected by the ongoing Coronavirus crisis that will result in slight delay in concluding the process.
"The Issuer (IOPL) considers that the Petition and any other action which may impact the Sale Process could potentially be detrimental to the interests of the Noteholders, as it may either delay or complicate the sale process. In such circumstances, recoveries from the shares held by IIPL in Yuhe (and hence recoveries of the Issuer on the IIPL Loan) are likely to be substantially lower than anticipated pursuant to the Sale Process," said the Company in its exchange filing.
IOPL has urged its Singapore bondholders to defer winding up petition and allow its group Company, IIPL to complete the sale of stake in the Chinese Expressway project to resolve around Rs 2,500 crore debt and pay its secured and unsecured creditors.
"Issuer urges the Trustee to withdraw the Winding Up Petition in the interests of all Noteholders; and allow the Sale Process to conclude; following which the Issuer is committed to engaging in consensual discussions with the Trustee in relation to its obligations under the Notes and distribution of any recoveries from repayment of the IIPL Loan," it said the company in the filing.
On February 27, HSBC, as trustee of bondholders of IOPL, filed a winding up petition in Singapore Court seeking to wind up IOPL and appoint liquidators. The case was heard on March 20 and deferred to April 17.
ITNL has been trying to resolve its debt and meet payment obligation towards secured creditors and unsecured debt of bondholders through stake sale in the biggest overseas asset under IIPL - Chongqing Yuhe Expressway Co Ltd (CYEL).
IL&FS holds 49 per cent stake in CYEL (a company incorporated in mainland China), through its Singapore-based subsidiary ITNL International Pte Ltd (IIPL). The balance majority stake of 51 per cent in CYEL is held by Chongqing Expressway Group (CEG) that has agreed to forego its right to first refusal in favor of the shortlisted bidder.
On completion of the sale process, the company plans to meet all its unsecured liabilities in accordance with applicable laws and the resolution framework approved by the courts.
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