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Maytas may take a year to stabilise: IL&FS
September, 02nd 2009

It will take about a year for tottering Maytas Infra to become financially stable, its new owner said, after which global financial firms will be offered stakes in the company. The company has seen a net worth erosion of Rs 490 crore last fiscal.

We will look at raising fresh capital through private placement of shares a few quarters after the company achieves financial stability and take it to the next level of expertise, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) chairman Ravi Parthasarathy said on Tuesday.

IL&FS, the largest shareholder in the Hyderabad-based firm, was handed control of Maytas Infra on Monday, six months after a board dominated by government nominees made little progress in stabilising a company whose reputation was badly damaged by the Satyam financial scandal.

Maytas Infra did not receive any incremental credit from banks over the past seven months. The collateral damage from the Satyam episode has impacted its operations. The company has been billed for milestones, but these have not been reflected in the receivables as clients were unsure of the firms fate, Mr Parthasarathy said, adding that a planned Rs 1,600-crore debt restructuring package will be essential for the company.

Maytas Infra was run by Teja Raju, the eldest son of Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju, when the financial scam at the software company came to light in January. The previous month, Satyam failed in its attempt to buy Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties, a real estate company run by the younger son of Mr Ramalinga Raju. Since March, major decisions were being taken by four directors appointed by the government.

IL&FS will make an open offer to raise its stake from 37% to 57% and expects to spend around Rs 130 crore if all investors tender their shares. The open-offer will commence in a day or two. Maytas Infra, whose share price rose by nearly 5% to Rs 118.40 on the BSE on Tuesday, has a market value of around Rs 700 crore.

The recast Maytas Infra board will have six members, including two government-nominated directors. Hari Shankaran (managing director, IL&FS), Arun K Saha (Jt MD), Karunakaran Ramchand (president and CEO, transportation networks) will be the new members on the Maytas board, to be chaired by Mr Parthasarathy.

IL&FS controls 37% of Maytas Infra, including the 22.6% stake pledged with it by the founding Raju family. The cost of buying a 57% stake could be around Rs 330 crore, including some Rs 200 crore for the 37% stake. IL&FS has been told by the Company Law Board that it must own at least a 26% stake in Maytas Infra for two years.

We have just entered Maytas Infra and have no plans of exit, he said Maytas Infra will get Rs 55 crore in emergency cash from its new owner to revive its operations. and the new owner aims to bring down its debt.

IL&FS hopes to bolster the order book and revive relationships with joint venture partners in build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) projects. Maytas Infra was forced to divest equity in a clutch of road projects to stay afloat. K Ramalingam, who was the government-nominated chairman, justified the divestments saying they were business decisions.

The original promoters own a 23% stake in Maytas Infra, while financial institutions and other public shareholders hold 40%, said Ved Jain, a government-nominated director.

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