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Kothari Sugars settles dues through restructure package

Our Bureau

Chennai , Sept. 15

KOTHARI Sugars and Chemicals Ltd has settled its debts through a restructure package and will now look to stabilising and expanding its operations.

Addressing its annual general meeting here on Thursday, the Chairman and Managing Director, Mr B.H. Kothari, said that the company has settled its dues through a one-time settlement and conversion of a portion of principal to equity — financial institutions now hold a 30 per cent stake. The balance payment is to be repaid over a 10- to 25-year period. The company plans to set aside funds annually to repay the long-term loans, he said.

Elaborating on the company's plans, Mr Kothari said that with the financial restructure behind it, the company hopes to look at growth. Its existing sugar mill in Lalgudi, Tiruchi district, with a capacity to crush 2,900 tonnes sugarcane a day was working at over 100 per cent capacity and there was need for the company to expand its crushing capacity.

The board was examining the options available, he said.

Kothari Sugars was declared a sick company in 1999-2000 and following an appeal against the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, which ordered winding up of the company in 2002, the Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction sanctioned a rehabilitation scheme in June 2004.

Officials had then said the rehabilitation package involved a relief of about Rs 150-160 crore to bring down accumulated losses of Rs 233 crore to Rs 50-60 crore.

The company operates a sugar mill complex at Lalgudi, which includes the sugar mill, an 11-MW cogeneration plant and a 45-kl-a-day distillery. It also operates a polybutene plant at Manali, Chennai.

Its subsidiaries, Kothari Biotech Ltd and Kothari International Trading, are not operational. The company hopes to dispose off these also, according to Mr Kothari.

It also had a nitroaromatics plant at Karaikal, which was sold to Chemplast Sanmar Ltd, and a nitric acid plant, at Sangareddy in Medak district, Andhra Pradesh, which was sold to Emmennar Biotech Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad.

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