Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) has repaid its entire overseas debt to the tune of $1.8 billion in four years. The last instalment of the debt — to the tune of $105 million — was repaid by the Australian unit of the company this week, sources told businessline.
Lenders who were repaid include Bank of Baroda, Canada Bank, Deutsche Bank and Varde Partners, among others, they said.
The debt was accrued at the time of acquisition of coal mines in Australia in 2013. The Wollongong Coal Limited (WCL) is an Australian mining entity, that owns and operates Russel Vale Colliery (RVC) and Wongawilli Colliery (WWC) in the southern coalfields region of New South Wales, Australia. In October 2013, JSPML acquired a majority stake and management control in WCL (formerly Gujarat NRE Coking Coal Ltd). Since acquisition, JSPL increased its shareholding in the company – through rights issue – to around 60.38 per cent.
“The deleveraging process is on and as previously announced we will look to maintain net debt at a maximum of 1.5 times that of EBITDA,” the official said. Post repayment, JSPL’s net debt (on a consolidated basis) to EBITDA is now down to 0.55 times. Debt to EBITDA had peaked to 13 times at one point.
As of June 30, the company’s net debt was about ₹7,700 crore. JSPL has been trying to deleverage its books for quite some time through a combination of repayment and divestments.
In 2017-18, JSPL’s overseas debt of $1.8 billion included $765 million on its Mauritius-based subsidiary; another $420 million on books of its Australian subsidiary; and remaining on the books of its Oman-based entity. In March this year, the Mauritius entity made a payment of $357 million to clear off its dues.