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UCO Bank puts BPL properties under the hammer

Our Bureau

Bangalore , Sept. 30

UCO Bank has put on auction the real estate holdings of consumer durables major BPL Ltd in Pune and in Bangalore.

UCO Bank, one of the relatively smaller creditors in BPL's total outstanding debt of over Rs 1,400 crore, said it was taking recourse to auction after exhausting all other options of recovery.

"We have given the company an Letter of Credit of Rs 7 crore in 2001, which was devolved. The bank recovered half of the sum and the current balance on our books is about Rs 3.5 crore. We tried to help them out and tried all channels for recovering the amount. But it looked as if they did not want to take our help," a top UCO Bank official told Business Line from Kolkata. UCO Bank took possession of the company's 133 acre holding near Pune more than a month ago and would put it on auction along with another immovable property in Bangalore on October 15.

UCO Bank said it was not part of the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) that BPL was negotiating with a clutch of lenders led by ICICI Bank.

"We will not be part of the CDR as we are more than confident of recovering our relatively small credit through auction of the company land. We have called for tenders and the excess money mopped up will be duly returned to the company," the official said.

BPL Ltd, the flagship of the T.P.G. Nambiar family controlled BPL Group, has been struggling to rejig its debt burden, which runs in excess of Rs 600 crore to ICICI Bank, Rs 145 crore to Canara Bank, Rs 70 crore to UTI and Rs 40 crore to LIC.

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