Tata Teleservices (TTSL) has reportedly approached its lenders, including the State Bank of India (SBI), to seek a restructuring of its debt, becoming the second telco to seek debt restructuring after Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom). The telco wants bankers to restructure about Rs 30,000-crore of its total Rs 40,000-crore debt, which includes Rs 8,000-crore of deferred spectrum payments, according to a report by Business Line.
The Tata Group-owned telecom company has sought an extended maturity of 20 years for repayments. The telco has also requested for a fresh loan of Rs 5,000 crore, which it wants to use for operational and capital expenditure (capex) needs at a time when it is struggling to grow and stay relevant in a highly competitive telecom market.
TTSL, according to a separate report by the Economic Times, has laid off 2,500 employees to cut costs.
Tata Teleservices loss widened to Rs 4,617 crore for FY17, from a loss of Rs 2,023 crore the year before. The telco’s net worth eroded by Rs 11,653 crore at the end of the financial year ended March 2017.
Tata group’s new chairman N Chandrasekaran is working on devising a strategy for TTSL to help its navigate the competitive landscape
RCom has also reportedly received a relief package from lenders under the Joint Lender Forum (JLF) scheme by the Reserve Bank of India. The JLF has allowed RCom a ‘standstill’ on all loans and payments till December 31, which means the telco wouldn’t service loans or accrue interest on its bank borrowings.
RCom has net debt of about Rs 45,000 crore at March end.