Hotel Leela’s board asks to renegotiate asset sale and bridge loan proposal

Luxury hospitality player Hotel Leelaventure Ltd said on Wednesday that its board of directors have asked top executives of the company to renegotiate on-going sale of assets and a proposed bridge loan from an unnamed lender.

The statement said the board at its meeting on Wdnesday considered the progress on the sale of assets and indicative term sheets for a bridge loan and resolved that the terms of the loan do not meet the company’s requirements, the company informed the stock exchanges.

According to the release, the board has asked chairman and managing director Vivek Nair and co-chairman Dinesh Nair to negotiate and finalise the terms and conditions of the bridge loan. The company is raising this loan to meet its debt service obligations, the release added.

Leela Group has been reeling under debt of Rs 4,700 crore which it raised from a consortium led by State Bank of India. The company has been selling assets to generate liquidity and reduce its debt. Earlier, Leela sold its IT park in Chennai for Rs 170 crore to Reliance Industries and its property in Kovalam to Ravi Pillai for Rs 500 crore. The group also has plans to sell a 3.84-acre piece of land in Hyderabad this year.

According to media reports, the company is in talks with global buyout fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) to raise debt of as much as Rs 2,000 crore against two of its properties.

Both KKR and Leela did not comment on this report.

Separate reports have earlier mentioned that the public-listed company had been in talks with sovereign funds of Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malaysia to raise resources by selling its assets.

The shares of the company last changed hands at Rs 16.45 apiece, down 1.2 per cent on the BSE in a flat Mumbai market on Wednesday. The decision of the board meeting was made public after trading stopped for the day.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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