In order to strengthen the lenders’ ability to deal with stressed assets, Reserve Bank of India has been issuing, from time to time, guidelines and prudential norms on stressed assets resolution by regulated lenders.
In order to ensure that adequate deep financial restructuring is done to give projects a chance of sustained revival, the Reserve Bank, after due consultation with banks, has decided to facilitate the resolution of large accounts, which satisfy the conditions set out in the following paragraphs.
For being eligible under the scheme, the account should meet all the following conditions:
(i) The project has commenced commercial operations;
(ii) The aggregate exposure (including accrued interest) of all institutional lenders in the account is more than Rs.500 crore (including Rupee loans, Foreign Currency loans/External Commercial Borrowings,);
(iii) The debt meets the test of sustainability as outlined in below.
A debt level will be deemed sustainable if the Joint Lenders Forum (JLF)/Consortium of lenders/bank conclude through independent techno-economic viability (TEV) that debt of that principal value amongst the current funded/non-funded liabilities owed to institutional lenders can be serviced over the same tenor as that of the existing facilities even if the future cash flows remain at their current level. For this scheme to apply, sustainable debt should not be less than 50 percent of current funded liabilities. .
The resolution plan may involve one of the following options with regard to the post-resolution ownership of the borrowing entity:
(a) The current promoter continues to hold majority of the shares or shares required to have control;
(b) The current promoter has been replaced with a new promoter, in one of the following ways:
- Through conversion of a part of the debt into equity under SDR mechanism which is thereafter sold to a new promoter;
- In the manner contemplated as per Prudential Norms on Change in Ownership of Borrowing Entities (Outside SDR Scheme);
(c) The lenders have acquired majority shareholding in the entity through conversion of debt into equity either under SDR or otherwise and
- allow the current management to continue or
- hand over management to another agency/professionals under an operate and manage contract.
Note: Where malfeasance on the part of the promoter has been established, through a forensic audit or otherwise, this scheme shall not be applicable if there is no change in promoter or the management is vested in the delinquent promoter.
In any of the circumstances mentioned above, the JLF/consortium/bank shall, after an independent TEV, bifurcate the current dues of the borrower into Part A and Part B as described below;
(a) Determine the level of debt (including new funding required to be sanctioned within next six months and non-funded credit facilities crystallising within next 6 months) that can be serviced (both interest and principal) within the respective residual maturities of existing debt, from all sources, based on the cash flows available from the current as well as immediately prospective (not more than six months) level of operations. For this purpose, free cash flows (i.e., cash flow from operations minus committed capital expenditure) available for servicing debt as per latest audited/reviewed financial statement will be considered. Where there is more than one debt facility, the maturity profile of each facility shall be that which exists on the date of finalising this resolution plan. For the purpose of determining the level of debt that can be serviced, the assessed free cash flow shall be allocated to servicing each existing debt facility in the order in which its servicing falls due. The level of debt so determined will be referred to as Part A in these guidelines.
(b) The difference between the aggregate current outstanding debt, from all sources, and Part A will be referred to as Part B in these guidelines.
(c) The security position of lenders will, however, not be diluted and Part A portion of loan will continue to have at least the same amount of security cover as was available prior to this resolution.
The Resolution Plan
The Resolution Plan shall have the following features:
- There shall be no fresh moratorium granted on interest or principal repayment for servicing of Part A.
- There shall not be any extension of the repayment schedule or reduction in the interest rate for servicing of Part A, as compared to repayment schedule and interest rate prior to this resolution.
- Part B shall be converted into equity/redeemable cumulative optionally convertible preference shares. However, in cases where the resolution plan does not involve change in promoter, banks may, at their discretion, also convert a portion of Part B into optionally convertible debentures. All such instruments will continue to be referred to as Part B instruments in this circular for ease of reference.