New Delhi: The debt-laden Ballarpur Industries Ltd (BILT) is in advanced stage of talks with banks for various options, including infusion of private equity funding, for itself and its subsidiaries.

“The company is in discussions with banks for various options, including infusion of private equity funding, at the levels of the company and/or its subsidiaries which are in advanced stages," the company said in a regulatory filing.

Clarifying on reports that banks are planning to take over its flagship unit by invoking strategic debt restructuring, it said: “There are no firm proposals or decisions so far." The company, which manufactures paper and paper products, said it will “make appropriate disclosure of the same once discussions are crystalised and the board of directors confirms a decision".

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BILT is reported to be saddled with an estimated consolidated debt of over Rs6,000 crore. In January, Fitch Ratings had downgraded the long-term issuer default rating on BILT and its subsidiary Bilt Paper BV to a more speculative grade while maintaining the grading on Rating Watch Negative (RWN).

The agency had cited worsening liquidity situation and curbing of operations of the company due to inadequate working capital. In July 2016, BILT had said it was in talks to sell two of its Indian units, which would improve liquidity, but the company has not made material progress on the transaction, Fitch had said.

For the third quarter ended December 2016, BILT had reported a net loss of Rs327.5 crore. Its net sales were also down at Rs347.56 crore, from Rs1,066.06 crore previously. In July last year, Ballarpur Industries had reported that its $500 million deal to sell 98.08% stake in Malaysia’s Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) to Pandawa Sakti has fallen through.

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