GTL lenders approve $1 bn debt restructure: sources

GTL lenders approve $1 bn debt restructure: sources

Mumbai: Indian telecom network service provider GTL Ltd has received lenders’ approval to restructure over $1 billion in debt, three sources directly involved with the matter told Reuters.

Last month, lenders to another group company, GTL Infrastructure Ltd , approved its plan to restructure debt worth 4000 crore ($846.3 million) after it was unable to service its loans, two of the sources said.

The GTL group is looking to recast debt worth over $3 billion involving more than 10 banks, the two sources said.

GTL Ltd’s 14 lenders include State Bank of India , ICICI Bank , Punjab National Bank and Standard Chartered , they said.

“Detailed terms have yet to be finalized. Lenders have about 60 days time to come with a proposal," one of the sources said.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

A company spokes man declined to comment.

GTL Ltd is also considering selling a stake to a private equity investor in order to bring in cash but talks are at a “very preliminary stage," a source said.

In July, India’s No.2 lender ICICI Bank assumed a 29% stake in GTL Ltd, taking over shares pledged by its founder. The bank recovered shares worth nearly 200 crore at the time, according to IFR; it had loaned GTL Ltd 500 crore.

GTL shares had fallen more than 60% on 20 June on market talk it may have fallen behind its debt-repayment schedule, or a stakeholder could have sold shares in the open market, market watchers said at the time.

GTL shares rose as much as 12% on Monday before ending up 8.1% at 68.70 in a weak Mumbai market. The stock had hit its year high of 462 in September, 2010.

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