You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Tata Motors may seek rollover of JLR debt

Abhineet Kumar  |  Mumbai 

Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicles maker, may seek to roll over a part of the Rs 9,200-crore bridge loan it took to buy the Jaguar, Land Rover brands of cars in June from Ford Motor Company, say analysts. The company is still short of over Rs 4500 crore to refinance the debt which is due before June 2 this year.

“The company may ask for a rollover of debt after repaying it partly,” said S Ramnath, director, research at Mumbai- based brokerage IDFC-SSKI. “It would eventually increase the interest cost burden of the company,” he said.

The company had planned to raise the fund for refinancing through three routes. It planned to raise about Rs 4200 crore through rights issues which it managed after the issue devolved on underwriters in October as the stock prices were tumbling globally following the economic crisis.

The company also planned to raise around Rs 3000 crore through selling certain investment of the company. A Tata Motors spokesperson said that so far it had raised Rs 545 crore through this route which includes Rs 485 crore by selling the stake of Tata Steel to a group company. Another divestment that the company made is of the stake that it held in the unlisted entity Tata Teleservices which fetched it around Rs 60 crore.

The company did not disclose its plans on further divestments According to the company’s last annual report, it had investments in group’s listed entities such as Automobile Corporation of Goa, Tata Steel, and Tata Steel CCPS.

“The group’s response has not been prompt in divesting the stakes; there has been a slide in the stock prices since August when it announced its plans,” said an analyst with a foreign brokerage firm who did not wish to be quoted. “The task has become more difficult now,” he said.

Out of over 30 million shares of Tata Steel held, the company sold around 10 million on September 25 when the stock price of the scrip was Rs 488.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

At Friday’s stock price of Rs 201, the share value has dropped by 59 per cent.

Tata Teleservices, Tata AutoComp Systems, Hispano Carrocera SA and Tata Sons are the other unlisted group firms where the company has its investments. Besides, there are seven subsidiaries of the company where it may choose to dilute its stake to raise the fund.

The third route for raising the money was a $500-600 million equity issue in a foreign market. “This is not possible in the prevailing market conditions,” said Ramnath. The company did not comment on this issue.

“Market sentiments are really bad, they would not be able to derive the benefit if they bring the issue in foreign market now,” said Piyush Parag, an analyst with Religare Securities.

First Published: Mon, January 19 2009. 00:00 IST