Money & Banking

Religare hopeful of finalising debt restructuring soon: Nitin Aggarwal

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on February 17, 2021

File photo   -  Bloomberg

Optimistic about revival of lending businesses after restructuring, says CFO

Religare Enterprises Ltd is hopeful of finalising the debt restructuring of Religare Finvest Ltd by the end of the current fiscal, and is also looking at a possible listing of its health insurance subsidiary, possibly in the coming year.

“We are at a very advanced stage of the resolution plan being discussed with the lenders. Within this fiscal year, we expect to have a clear roadmap for that business,” said Nitin Aggarwal, Group Chief Financial Officer, Religare Enterprises Limited (REL).

In an interaction with BusinessLine, Aggarwal said talks are on with the bankers on what option has to be taken for the restructuring.

“We have investors ready to invest, and REL is also ready to hold the company and invest in the company,” he said, when asked about the options available.

Revival of lending biz

Aggarwal is optimistic about the revival of the lending businesses after the restructuring is done.

“Lending will start after the restructuring. We are doing small-scale lending in the home finance business. SME lending we will be able to start lending only after the debt restructuring is completed and we have permission from the Reserve Bank of India,” he said.

Previously, the RBI had rejected a proposal to allow TCG Advisory, which is part of NRI investor Purnendu Chatterjee’s The Chatterjee Group, to pick up a stake in the company.

However, the other two arms of REL – health insurance and retail broking – are now on an upswing.

“If RFL is put on track this fiscal year, then next fiscal all four businesses will be on a good growth path. That is what the entire Religare team is working towards,” he said.

REL is a Core Investment Company (CIC) which owns and manages RFL (SME lending), Care Health Insurance, Religare Broking, and Religare Housing Development Finance Corporation (affordable housing finance).

Aggarwal noted that Care Health Insurance is now the second largest standalone health insurer in the country and is profitable and working well.

With the business now reaching maturity, he said REL will try and take it public either in the next fiscal year or early part of 2022.

“We have started thinking about it. It is towards maturity now,” he said. In June last year, PE firm Kedaara had taken a six per cent stake in the insurer and invested about ₹567 crore, including ₹300 crore of growth capital. The company was renamed from Religare Health Insurance to Care Health Insurance.

Published on February 16, 2021

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