SBI files insolvency petition against India's largest sugar company Bajaj Hindusthan

New Delhi: State-owned SBI has filed an insolvency petition against the country's largest sugar firm Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd. SBI as a financial creditor has filed the plea before the Allahabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

In a regulatory filing, Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd informed that "we understand that State Bank of India, financial creditor through its advocate has initiated Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process of Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd."

The petition has been filed under Section 7 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.

In the last fiscal year, the company had posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 267.54 crore and a turnover of Rs 5,607 crore.

On August 12, the company reported that for the quarter ended June of this fiscal year, its net loss stood at Rs 45 crore and total income at Rs 1,538 crore.

"During the June '22 quarter, due to delayed payment of loan instalment and coupon rate interest on optionally convertible debentures the lenders have classified the company's account as Non-Performing Assets (NPA) as per the RBI regulations on loan classification.

The lenders of the company have signed an ICA (Inter Creditors Agreement) on January 28, 2022 for resolution of the company's accounts, the company had said in the notes of accounts of financial statement for the first quarter. The debt restructuring as per RBI's S4A scheme has improved the company's liquidity position, it said.

"However, keeping in view the status of outstanding cane dues and funds for servicing debt obligations, the company is further discussing with the lenders a debt resolution plan to have a lasting solution to improve its liquidity," Bajaj Hindusthan had said.

The resolution plan envisages reduction of its overall debt, realignment of its capital structure, payment of cane dues of farmers, increasing cane availability and supply etc.

"The company is also exploring/evaluating various options for corporate restructuring to streamline the business and enhance the company's value," Bajaj Hindusthan said.

Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd is India's leading sugar and ethanol manufacturing company.

Part of the Bajaj Group (Kushagra), it is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The company has fourteen sugar plants, all located in Uttar Pradesh. These plants have an aggregate sugarcane crushing capacity of 1,36,000 tonnes crushed per day and alcohol distillation capacity of 800 kilolitres per day.

It is also one of the largest producers of ethanol and currently produces 38 million litres of ethanol per year. The company has increased its ethanol manufacturing capacity to roughly 218 million litres per year.

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