Kolkata: The West Bengal government and The Chatterjee Group (TCG), co-promoters of Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), gave fresh assurances to the company’s lenders at a board meeting on Wednesday that they were taking steps to resolve their dispute in their bid to secure funds to restart operations.
The government has agreed on the terms for the sale of 520 million of its 675 million shares to TCG, and lawyers are preparing the documents for the deal, said a person familiar with the development. Though it wasn’t part of the agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting, this matter was discussed, this person added, asking not to be named. Lenders had said they wouldn’t stake more money on HPL unless its co-promoters end their spat over ownership and control.
TCG and the government are asking lenders to restructure HPL’s loans and infuse working capital so that the firm could restart operations suspended on 7 July due to a technical problem.
TCG chief Purnendu Chatterjee said on Wednesday the plant had been repaired but operations may not start soon. “It is in very good shape," Chatterjee said, referring to HPL’s plant.
HPL managing director U.K. Basu wasn’t available for comments. West Bengal’s principal secretary for commerce and industries C.M. Bachawat refused to comment.
It seems the deal between the government and TCG is likely to be concluded soon, said the person cited above, and lenders will commit to restructure HPL’s loans. It wasn’t clear soon whether lenders would ask TCG to infuse cash into HPL’s operations over and above paying for the state government’s shares, but it is a distinct possibility.