Samsara Group, Lionforge vie for debt-laden Dighi Port in Maharashtra1 min read . Updated: 25 Sep 2017, 02:34 AM IST
Samsara Group and Hong Kong-based Lionforge Logistics have made separate bids to buy Dighi Port Ltd, a subsidiary of Balaji Infra Projects
Mumbai: The troubled Dighi Port coming up on Maharashtra’s Konkan coast has received buyout interest from at least two entities, two people familiar with the development said.
Mumbai-based Samsara Group and Hong Kong-based Lionforge Logistics have made separate bids to buy Dighi Port Ltd (DPL), a subsidiary of Balaji Infra Projects Ltd, the people mentioned above said on condition of anonymity.
“DPL is developing a multi-purpose port in Raigad district of Maharashtra, but the project has suffered huge cost overruns and loans to it had turned non-performing over two years back. However, given the port’s location—just 170km from Mumbai—both Samsara Group and Lionforge Logistics are very keen on acquiring the asset and their bids are currently being evaluated by its lenders," the first of the two persons said.
The second person, a senior official with a public sector bank, confirmed his bank has indeed received the bids and was evaluating them.
“None of DPL’s lenders have yet taken a decision on either of the bids," he added.
DPL is building the port in a 50-year build, own, operate, share, and transfer (BOOST) concession agreement with the Maharashtra Maritime Board.
The port is currently partly functional with a few berths. Lenders first reworked its debt as part of a corporate debt restructuring in 2012-13.
Its proposal last year to merge with parent Balaji Infra Projects was rejected by lenders. Capitaline data show DPL had a total debt of Rs1,580 crore as of 2014-15, and had incurred a net loss of Rs37 crore on sales of Rs21 crore during the year.
Credit rating agency CARE, similarly, while reaffirming a rating of “D" on DPL’s bank facilities, had earlier this year, observed: “There are ongoing delays in debt servicing due to cash flow mismatch attributed to under-utilization of commissioned berths and unavailability of rail and road connectivity."
Emails sent to BIPL, IL&FS, the Samsara Group and Lionforge Logistics, seeking comments on the development, were unanswered till press time.