Telecom network service provider GTL has received lenders' approval to restructure over $1 billion in debt, three sources directly involved with the matter told Reuters.

Last month, lenders to another group company, GTL Infrastructure Ltd, approved its plan to restructure debt worth Rs 40 billion ($846.3 million) after it was unable to service its loans, two of the sources said.

The GTL group is looking to recast debt worth over $3 billion involving more than 10 banks, the two sources said.

GTL Ltd's 14 lenders include State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank and Standard Chartered, they said.

"Detailed terms have yet to be finalised. Lenders have about 60 days time to come with a proposal," one of the sources said.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

A company spokesman declined to comment.

GTL Ltd is also considering selling a stake to a private equity investor in order to bring in cash but talks are at a "very preliminary stage," a source said.

In July, India's No.2 lender ICICI Bank assumed a 29 per cent stake in GTL Ltd, taking over shares pledged by its founder. The bank recovered shares worth nearly Rs 2 billion at the time, according to IFR; it had loaned GTL Ltd Rs 5 billion.

GTL shares had fallen more than 60 per cent on June 20 on market talk it may have fallen behind its debt-repayment schedule, or a stakeholder could have sold shares in the open market, market watchers said at the time.

GTL shares rose as much as 12 per cent on Monday before ending up 8.1 per cent at Rs 68.70 in a weak Mumbai market. The stock had hit its year high of Rs 462 in September, 2010.

Leave Your Comment(s)