Shapoorji Pallonji exploring options to pay back to Sterling and Wilson Solar

Shapoorji Pallonji Group, the promoter of Sterling Wilson Solar, is exploring several options, including making Eureka Forbes public or selling stake in its engineering firm Forbes & Company to pay back the inter-company loans the group had taken from the solar company, sources said.

The promoters of Sterling Wilson Solar currently owe the company Rs 2,341 crore, which includes a principal amount of Rs 2,085 crore and interest of Rs 256 crore, said a recent regulatory filing by the company.

On August 20, when it was listed on the exchanges, the dues stood at Rs 2,563 crore.

According to sources close to Sterling Wilson and its promoters, the construction major Shapoorji Pallonji is considering ways to raise fund and pay back the loans. The promoters currently hold 77.22 per cent stake in the company, as per BSE data.

As per the promoters of Sterling Wilson Solar they have not been able to pay back the dues because of the deteriorating credit market along with lesser than expected realisation from its initial public offering (IPO).

In a regulatory filing last week, the company had said that its promoters had requested its board of directors to consider a revised repayment schedule for the balance outstanding amount which was reduced to Rs 2,341 crore.

It realised Rs 2,850 crore from the IPO before expenses and taxes compared to the anticipated realisation of Rs 4,500 crore. Several investors of the company, however, rue the fact that the promoters could pay back the dues as the the realisation of Rs 2,850 crore was still higher than their balance due to the company.

Analysts tracking Sterling Wilson are of the view that its IPO did not take off well as it was not planned well.

Financially, the company is in a sound stand currently. In the quarter ended September, it had reported a net profit of Rs 58.36 crore, against Rs 79.4 crore during the same period last year.

As of September 30, its cash balance stood at Rs 410.62 crore. On Wednesday, its share price closed at Rs 283.75, lower by Rs 5.15 from its previous close.