India's Adani Ports to prepay 10 billion rupees on CPs due in March - spokesperson

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Adani Group is seen on one of its buildings in Ahmedabad

By Bhakti Tambe

MUMBAI (Reuters) -India's Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, a group company of the beleaguered Adani Group, plans to prepay 10 billion rupees ($120.8 million) in commercial papers maturing in March, a company spokesperson said.

"This part prepayment is from the existing cash balance and funds generated from the business operations," the spokesperson said in an emailed response late on Monday.

Adani Ports has commercial papers worth 20 billion rupees due to mature in March, data from information service provider Prime Database showed. It had cash and cash equivalents of 62.57 billion rupees as of Dec. 31, as per its latest quarterly report.

The company has also paid 10 billion rupees to SBI Mutual Fund and 5 billion rupees to Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund on commercial papers that matured on Monday, as scheduled, Adani Ports said.

An SBI MF spokesperson confirmed the payment and added, "We have no further exposure to the Adani Group."

Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has also received the payment, A. Balasubramanian, managing director and chief executive, confirmed in an emailed response.

Last week, Reuters reported Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports are likely to repay their short-term commercial papers debt, instead of rolling them over.

Adani Ports said in an analysts' call earlier this month that it is considering repaying debt of about 50 billion rupees in fiscal 24, without specifying which bonds it would repay.

This, it said, would improve its net debt to EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) ratio to about 2.5 from more than 3 currently.

" ... Our main objective is that we are generating cash. We want to use that money to repay the debt after meeting all the growth capex," D Muthukumaran, chief financial officer of Adani Ports, had said in the call on Feb. 7. ($1 = 82.7760 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bhakti Tambe; Editing by Savio D'Souza)