Sterling and Wilson promoters seek time till Sept 2021 to repay dues

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 16, 2020 Published on September 16, 2020

Khurshed Daruvala promoter of Sterling and Wilson Solar Ltd   -  PAUL NORONHA

Shapoorji Pallonji, Khurshed Daruvala initially owed the company ₹2,644 cr

Shapoorji Pallonji and Khurshed Daruvala — promoters of Sterling and Wilson Solar Ltd (SWSL) — have sought time till September 2021 to fully repay dues to the company.

The promoters initially owed ₹2,644 crore to Sterling and Wilson Solar Ltd and had agreed to repay the money within 90 days after the company got listed in November. However, as on March 31, the promoters paid back ₹1,500 crore. The balance was to be paid in two instalments in June and September.

The SWSL board had, in its meeting, asked the promoters to provide necessary security in respect of the June instalment. In response, the promoters have paid ₹103 crore, out of the ₹500 crore instalment. Further, the promoters have created security in the form of mortgaging certain immovable properties valued at ₹460 crore, according to disclosures made by the company to the stock exchanges.

With respect to the balance amount due on September 30, 2020, the promoters have informed the board that efforts for raising a fund-based facility have been affected due to reasons beyond their control, as a result of which it is improbable for them to facilitate funding. The promoters have instead offered a total security on various assets aggregating to approximately ₹1,200 crore.

Battle with Tata Sons

This development also comes at a time when the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which is locked in a bitter battle with Tata Sons, has accused the latter of trying to block its ₹11,000-crore fund-raising plans through an urgent petition filed before the Supreme Court. SP Group was looking to raise capital against security of its shares in Tata Sons. On September 5, Tata Sons moved an application before the apex court seeking to restrain SP Group promoters from raising capital.

SWSL promoters had stated in the IPO prospectus that they would repay the company the loan they had taken from it, through the proceeds of the IPO.

Shriram Subramanian, founder and MD of InGovern, said, “This is completely misleading for minority shareholders and SEBI should force the promoters to give an exit option to minority shareholders. It is apparent that the promoters lack cash flow visibility across its businesses.”

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Published on September 16, 2020
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