We have an impeccable record in servicing debt: Jindal Steel & Power

Abha Bakaya | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 11, 2016

RAVI UPPAL MD & CEO, Jindal Steel and Power

Discussions with the lenders have been very cordial, says MD & CEO Ravi Uppal

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) has been in the limelight over its debt refinancing under the 5/25 scheme. Speaking to Bloomberg TV India, the company’s MD and CEO Ravi Uppal said JSPL has an impeccable and flawless record in servicing debt.

Can you take us through the details of the refinancing efforts with the lenders?

I think the first thing I would like to clarify is that JSPL has a 30-year history and has an absolutely impeccable and flawless record in servicing all debt it has taken. As a matter of fact, we have been a debt-shy company.

But we did a massive expansion of capacity in 2011-14, for which we had to take debt from the banks. After December 31, 2015, we have serviced all the debt, the repayments as well as the interest servicing according to the schedule. But the steel industry both globally and locally has gone through a very traumatising time.

But Minimum Import Price kicked in from the second week of February. And that obviously is coming as a respite to the industry and the industry performance will improve. So what happened was while we were going through this time, inflows and outflows for a short period of time were not matching, for which we have been in touch with all our bankers. We sat down with them and we have done a certain amount of rescheduling of payments to make sure that we are able to make up to the commitment that we have made. Our discussions have been very cordial and there has been a great deal of understanding in the financial situations.

How will the Cabinet decision to amend the MMDR Act help the mining industry?

I think it is a great step forward. It will give more space to the mining and steel industry to operate in their respective domains. The MMDR Act was modified last year in January and this is the next logical step that the government has done.

What’s the progress on monetisation of the power business, which has been the crown jewel in your portfolio?

We are very selectively looking at monetising some of the assets and we do have some good offers from different parties for our energy assets, both from domestic and international markets. We are studying them and if we find that attractive we will consider it as an option.

Any other non-core assets that that you would be looking at apart from the Tamnar power plant?

Yes, we are also in the process of forming a joint venture. We have overseas partners who have proven competence in some areas of steel products.

So that is under discussion and fairly advanced stage. And certain assets, which we do not need to own, we may consider selling because they are not core to our business.

So there are certain initiatives, which are being undertaken right now with a sense of urgency and we are looking at it.

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Published on March 11, 2016
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