The Ruia family-owned Essar Group has embarked on the final leg of its deleveraging exercise with plans to cut down its residual debt by 70 per cent to about Rs 12,000 crore as it looks to rebuild the conglomerate post-oil and steel business selloffs.
From Rs 1.83 lakh crore of debt in FY17, the group brought down the debt by a staggering Rs 1.40 lakh crore over the last three years. Now it plans to cut residual debt from Rs 42,000 crore to about Rs 12,000 crore, according to a mailer Essar sent to policymakers and bureaucrats.
Post the proposed reduction of debt in the power business by over 60 per cent (Rs 12,000 crore), and similar deleveraging across its portfolio businesses, Essar would have almost cleared all its long-term debts.
The remaining indebtedness is for working capital in fully operational assets. The Group said it is “poised to embark on a new phase of growth while driving growth in its existing portfolio.”
Despite selling the oil refinery to Russia’s Rosneft and partners and losing the steel business in insolvency proceedings, the group currently has interests in oil and gas, ports, power, shipping and mining projects in India and overseas that give revenue of Rs 1 lakh crore.
Essar in the mailer said, revenues are projected to rise from Rs 94,000 crore in FY19 to Rs 98,000 crore in the current fiscal and then to Rs 1,01,000 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 1,04,000 crore in the year thereafter.
Indicating it has put the past behind, Essar said it is armed with a substantially lighter balance sheet after it took a conscious call of reducing its debt in response to evolving domestic and evolving economic scenario.
“Our strong portfolio of companies consistently generates healthy and sustainable earnings and have combined revenue of Rs 1,00,000 crore (USD 14 billion),” it said.