Seeking to recover their loans worth about Rs 17,000 crore, lenders of debt-laden ABG Shipyard have put the company on the block but none of the bidders appear to be interested in buying the shares.
The consortium of about two dozen banks, led by ICICI Bank, has mandated SBI Caps for finding the buyer for their 51 per cent equity, which lenders got after conversion of debt, which is believed to have attracted two expressions of interest (EoIs) from Liberty House Group of the UK and Reliance Defence and Engineering.
While an RDEL spokesperson did not comment on the matter, sources said the company has shown interest in an ‘asset purchase agreement’ for certain “agreed assets” of ABG Shipyard, but it is not interested in buying shares of the lenders or of the promoters.
Sources further said that Liberty House has offered to take over the existing debt of about Rs 16,000-17,000 crore of the company in lieu of the entire assets of the company. Liberty House could not be contacted for their comments.
ABG Shipyard yesterday said in a regulatory filing that the lenders have shortlisted few “prospective bidders” for the company after invoking their rights to change the ownership and its board has authorised a few top officials, including Chairman Rishi Agarwal, to take necessary steps with respect to the proposed transaction.
Sources said that neither of the two prospective bidders have shown interest in acquiring the shares of the lenders, or that of the promoters and failure to strike a deal may lead to the company exploring other options.
The lenders have been trying for a long time to recover their loans, including through Corporate and Strategic Debt Restructuring routes.
Besides Agarwal, company’s executive director S Muthuswamy and CFO Hasmukh Daftary have also been authorised to “initiate all the necessary steps, deal with, modify, alter, amend, finalise and execute any agreements”.