`Emami group to become debt-free in next 9 months’

PTI Kolkata | Updated on August 11, 2019 Published on August 11, 2019

Prashant Goenka, Director

Plans to pare ₹ 2,600 cr debt at group level, says Prasant Goenka

The ₹ 16,000 crore diversified conglomerate Emami will pare its entire debt at the group level, which currently stands at ₹ 2,600 crore, over the next 9 months, a top company official said.

The group is “fully covered to meet all repayment obligations in the group companies”, Emami director Prasant Goenka said.

Emami Group is engaged in the business of personal and health care products, paper, hospitals, edible oils, bio-diesel, cement, real estate, retail chains, power and art.

There had been a recent downgrade in the ratings in one of the unlisted group companies.

“We are fully covered to meet all repayment obligations in the group companies. In the last 4 months, we had repaid ₹ 2,800 crore. The group promoters’ debt is now at ₹ 2,600 crore.

“The group will become debt-free in the next 9 months and promoters are working in this direction,” Goenka told PTI.

The promoters have been looking at various options, ranging from divestment to taking the business to the public, to monetise assets.

Goenka did not discuss the monetising strategies in details but divestment of non-core businesses was one of the options.

AMRI Hospitals and the pharmacy retail chain Frank Ross is on the radar.

Emami Cement has received IPO nod from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise ₹ 1,000 crore.

India Ratings recently downgraded Emami Frank Ross Limited’s ₹ 125 crore bank loans’ ratings to IND BBB+. The Emami Group holds 74.89 per cent stake in Frank Ross, while in AMRI, the group’s holding stands at 98.02 per cent.

The promoters had sold their 20 per cent stake in its flagship company Emami Ltd to raise ₹ 2,830 crore in two tranches and used the fund to reduce the debt burden. This had led to a decrease of promoter’s holding in Emami Ltd to about 52 per cent.

The daily affairs of the Emami group have now been managed by the second generation family members of the promoters RS Agrwal and RS Goenka.

Published on August 11, 2019

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