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Web Exclusive | February 2013

NCC to cut its debt by exiting power projects

Hyderabad-based NCC has decided to exit the two joint venture power projects at a time when the infrastructure company is getting back to 15 per cent growth after seeing the bottom with 3 per cent last year. YD Murthy, Executive vice president (Finance) of NCC said that NCC has decided to exit the power sector essentially to bring down the debt on the company’s books.

It has already brought down its debt to Rs 2,500 crore from the earlier Rs 2,700 crore and is looking at further pruning it to Rs 2,300 crore, according to him. The company, which had achieved a topline of Rs 6,600 crore last year, has been conservative in leveraging its books unlike some of its counterparts from Andhra Pradesh as its debt to equity ratio stands at 1:1.5 while it now wants to bring it further down to 1.2-1.3.

Murthy confirmed a recent report of a 5 per cent stake sale in Himachal Sorang Power (HSPL), which is about to complete the 100 mw run-off-the river hydro electric project in Himachal Pradesh. However, he refused to disclose the name of the investor company. NCC and IL&FS hold 67 per cent and 33 per cent in the special purpose vehicle respectively and together would sell 100 per cent interest in this project to the company that would operate the plant after acquisition.

The Rs 600-crore project is expected to be completed in another 3-4 months. The promoters are allowed to sell the entire stake only six months after announcing the commissioning date. Early this month an agency report, citing sources, said Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) had acquired the 5 per cent stake in HSPL through a joint venture formed with Mumbai-based Jyoti Structures.

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