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Debt recast for loss-making Hotel Leela likely this month

Hotel Leelaventure expects an agreement on restructuring its debt to be finalised on April 27, a company official said, after two banking sources said lenders did not agree at a meeting on Friday on a plan to ease the terms on the company's $777 million in loans.

The Mumbai-based operator of luxury hotels has not made payments on its loan since late January, the bankers said, declining to be identified because the matter is not public. After three months without payment, Indian lenders are required to classify loans as non-performing.

The group of lenders, led by Syndicate Bank and including State Bank of India and Vijaya Bank had been expected to agree on a restructuring plan at a meeting on Friday, the sources said, without giving details.

In August, the company said it planned to raise Rs 1000 crore in a share sale in order to trim a debt load of Rs 4346 crore, but that deal failed to materialise

Hotel Leelaventure, which has been posting losses for the past several quarters, said in February its board had decided to apply for restructuring of its debt. It did not say how much debt it wanted to be restructured.

In August, the company said it planned to raise Rs 1000 crore in a share sale in order to trim a debt load of Rs 4346 crore, but that deal failed to materialise amid tough market conditions.

Hotel Leelaventure Vice Chairman Vivek Nair said on Friday a decision on restructuring would be taken later this month.

"On the 27th of the month, we expect to have a consensus from all the lenders ... There is no rejection or anything," he said over the telephone following Friday's meeting.

Valued at $249 million by the market, shares in Hotel Leelaventure were trading up 0.45 percent at Rs 33.15 in afternoon trade today.

Reuters

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