Future Retail’s Debt Plan Passage Eases Some Immediate Woes
Shoppers walk and gather outside a Big Bazaar hypermarket, operated by Future Retail, in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Future Retail’s Debt Plan Passage Eases Some Immediate Woes

Bookmark

Indian supermarket-operator Future Retail Ltd. approved a debt resolution plan that eases some immediate concerns as a legal battle with partner Amazon.com Inc. threatens to delay an asset sale to Reliance Industries Ltd.

Future Retail’s board agreed to a proposition to restructure its secured bank debt and three rupee-denominated bonds, according to an exchange filing Saturday. The plan, which was accepted by lenders, is subject to approval by a committee formed by the central bank and exchanges.

Failure to secure lenders’ approval for the restructuring plan would have caused “immediate liquidity pressure,” Fitch Ratings said in a note Friday before the announcement. The rating company said it would evaluate the deal after approval from lenders to see if it constitutes a distressed-debt exchange.

There are signs that the broader concerns about Future Retail’s tussle with Amazon may continue to weigh on the debt. India’s top court scheduled a final hearing in the matter to May 4 and said it will decide the case for once and for all. Read more background here: India High Court Lifts Freeze on Future Retail, Founders’ Assets

Future Retail’s dollar bonds due 2025, which aren’t part of the resolution plan, dropped about 0.2 cents on the dollar to 79.9, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Mumbai-based company’s shares were down about 0.2% on Monday, while India’s benchmark Sensex index fell about 2.4%

Some of the terms of the resolution plan:

  • For bank debt
    • Extending repayment of short-term loans, term loans, bonds, overdue working capital loans (converted into working capital term loans) by a maximum of two years
    • Interest moratorium between March 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021
      • Interest during the period will be converted into funded interest term loan payable by December 2021
    • All penal interest and charges, default premiums, processing fees unpaid since March last year to implementation date to be fully waived
  • For bonds
    • Redemption under each series to be rescheduled
      • Series IA: Four equal quarterly installments in FY 2023
      • Series IB: Four equal quarterly installments in FY 2024
      • Series II: 100% on June 1, 2025
    • Interest up to June 2021 on Series II notes to be converted into funded interest term loan carrying interest rate of 8.30% p.a.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.