According to reports, the irony is hard to miss. Srei Infrastructure Finance is angling some of the 90 wind mills of the troubled edible oil producer, KS Oils, now being put up through an auction, something the Kolkata-based financing company had once opposed. Srei, as a financier that drove KS Oil’s wind power foray, was ranged against the move by bankers claiming exclusive charge on those assets.
But the reality seems to be catching up. Now, the Kanorias have a change of heart as the group hashes out options to shore up its renewable energy assets portfolio through its group arm, India Power Corp.
“If we get a good price, we will certainly bid for KS Oils’ assets. Now, we have no objection to the asset sale. Our dispute with the bankers to KS Oils has been settled. Earlier, we had gone to the court demanding proceeds from the sale of the assets be kept away to settle our loans, which we had extended for these wind farms,” Hemant Kanoria, managing director, Srei, told dna.
KS Oils, saddled with a debt burden of about Rs 4,000 crore, was earlier referred to the corporate debt restructuring scheme and the lenders had appointed SBI Capital Markets to auction off 92 windmills owned by the company spread over Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
That prompted Srei to approach the Calcutta High Court with a plea to stop the planned auction as the wind mills were provided as security against the loan.
But despite the court giving the green light to the planned auction more than a year ago, as reported by dna then, SBI Capital is out with the auction tender now. Once SBI Capital receives the bids, details are to be filed with the court to get the clearance. “We are looking at raising our wind power capacity, and a higher net worth following merger of our energy businesses will help us acquire assets,” Kanoria said.
The group has recently gone for reverse merger of DPSC, its listed power distribution arm with group outfit India Power Corp. The merged entity has a wind power generating capacity of 112mw through farms spread in West Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan.