India: Real estate lender Altico in talks with Cerberus, Apollo to sell stake

Real estate-focused lender Altico Capital India Ltd, which defaulted on interest payments, is in talks with private equity funds, including Apollo Global Management and Cerberus Capital, for a stake sale, according to two people aware of the development.

The non-bank lender has approached several funds to invest in the company, said one of the two people cited above. “While a portion of the investment will be used to pay back lenders, the rest of the fund is likely to be deployed for project completion,” the person said on condition of anonymity.

Altico’s troubles started when it missed an interest payment to Dubai-based Mashreq Bank on 12 September. On 20 September, Mint reported that Altico has told its lenders that as part of a resolution plan, it is in talks to sell some assets and infuse fresh funds from new shareholders.

For this, Altico said it is working alongside turnaround advisory firm Alvarez and Marsal and legal advisory firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. It also sought a moratorium on further repayments from its lenders.

Mint could not ascertain the quantum of the stake or capital that Altico is looking to raise from these investors. At present, Altico’s total outstanding debt stands at 4,361.55 crore, from 27 lenders including Yes Bank, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank, among others.

Email queries sent to a spokesperson of Cerberus Capital remained unanswered till the time of going to press. Nipun Sahni, head of Apollo Global’s real estate arm in India, did not respond to calls and text messages seeking comment on the development. Altico Capital’s chief executive officer (CEO) Sanjeev Agrawal too did not respond to calls and email queries.

“A significant strain in short-term financing markets precipitated by the September 2018 default by IL&FS created a knock-on impact on other NBFCs and the real estate sector in general,” Altico Capital said in a statement earlier this month.

Mint reported on 23 September that Altico’s three shareholders—private equity firms Varde Partners, Clearwater Capital Partners and Abu Dhabi Investment Council—had initiated negotiations with its lenders for a debt restructuring while also planning to either offload their stakes or sell a large portion of the portfolio.

On 22 September, the lender asked its chief operating officer Agrawal to take charge of the company following the sudden resignation of its CEO Sanjay Grewal.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.