And now, Tata Tele seeks Rs32,000-cr debt recast

Tata Teleservices, the loss-making telecom services provider of the Tata group, which also recently ended a joint venture with NTT DoCoMo after settling claims of $1,17 billion, has now asked banks to restructure loans worth Rs32,000 crore.

Tata Teleservices, the second telco after Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications to seek debt restructuring after the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm, the Mukesh Ambani outfit, saw a Rs11,650 crore erosion in its net worth in 2016-17, banking sources said.

According to bankers, Tata Teleservices and its listed subsidiary Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) have approached a lender consortium led by the State Bank of India (SBI) for restructuring combined outstanding debt of Rs32,000 crore.

TTSL is reported to have sought an extended maturity of 20 years for repayments, and requested for a fresh loan of Rs5,000 crore for its operational and capital expenditure needs.

On Friday, the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom) received the nod from a Joint Lenders Forum (JLF), allowing it a 'standstill' on all its debt for seven months, giving a reprieve to the telco from servicing loans for the period.

RCom had net debt of about Rs45,000 crore as of end-March, while TTSL has total debt of around Rs40,000 crore, including Rs8,000 crore in deferred spectrum payments.

The company is also reported to have laid off 2,500 employees.

Tata Teleservices, which ended its alliance with NTT DoCoMo and bought out its 26.5 per cent stake in Tata DoCoMo, now carries the extra burden of the $1.7 billion severance payment to the Japanese group.