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Mumbai, March 13,2014: Hotel Leelaventure has decided to negotiate the conditions of the bridge loan it will take to meet its debt obligations, as it feels that the terms do not meet the company’s requirement. As per media reports, the company is currently in talks with US private equity firm KKR & Co for a loan of up to R2,000 crore.

In a notification on the BSE on Wednesday, the company said that it has authorised Vivek Nair, chairman and managing director and Dinesh Nair, co-CMD, to negotiate these terms and conditions and finalise them.

Hotel Leelaventure could pledge part of its assets with KKR for the financing and the private equity firm is seeking an option that would allow it to swap the loan with shares, reports have stated. The company’s debt stands at over R4,700 crore.

In June 2012, the lenders, led by State Bank of India, had agreed to restructure a total of R4,700-crore loan outstanding with Leela.

Bankers say that under the approved corporate debt restructuring (CDR) package, Leela was required to sell its properties in Chennai and Delhi, to pay back the lenders.

“Banks will be comfortable if under the current arrangement, the properties are pledged with KKR and the funds are used to pay back the banks,” a senior banker told FE.

The CDR cell, a forum of bankers that takes a call on individual debt recast packages, has seen a spike in the number of cases referred to it, resulting in a steep rise in stressed assets in the banking system.

February saw R4,300 crore of assets being recast across six companies, higher than the R3,500 crore restructured in January.

Between January and December, the value of loans recast was close to R74,000 crore while the value of loans referred crossed R1 lakh crore. Given the slowdown in the economy, bankers believe many moe customers will need help to tide over the situation. They anticipate at least R15,000-20,000 crore will be restructured before March.

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