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Corporate - Sick Units
Duncans Industries to be referred to BIFR

Kohinoor Mandal
Nilanjan Dey

Total accumulated losses erode net worth


Adverse situation
Had a dispute with the Centre over Retention Price Subsidy scheme.
The March 31, 2006, balance sheet has shown a negative net current asset of Rs 239.39 crore.
As per restructuring package, Duncans is issuing CRPS to its lenders.

Kolkata , Sept. 12

Duncans Industries Ltd, the flagship company of the city-based G.P. Goenka Group, is being referred to the Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).

The board of directors of Duncans Industries has decided to make the referral because the total accumulated losses of the company have completely eroded its net worth.

Duncans Industries, which has operations in fertiliser and tea, has been facing an adverse situation for the last few years following its dispute with the Union Government over the Retention Price Subsidy (RPS) scheme.

Big losses

As on March 31, 2006, the company clocked a turnover of Rs 173.36 crore but ended with a net loss of Rs 798.89 crore because it provided for Rs 446.94 crore — the disputed subsidy amount — in the profit & loss account.

As a result its total accumulated loss jumped to Rs 954.40 crore as against Rs 155.50 crore on March 31, 2005. The March 31, 2006, balance sheet of Duncans Industries has shown a negative net current asset of Rs 239.39 crore. The company fought a futile legal battle against the Centre at the Allahabad High Court on the RPS issue. Subsequently, its Special Leave Petition was also disallowed by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, as per the terms of the restructuring package sanctioned under the CDR (Corporate Debt Restructuring) mechanism, Duncans Industries is issuing cumulative redeemable preference shares (CRPS) to its lenders.

A total of Rs 160 crore of CRPS would be issued and it would have a negligible interest rate of 0.001 per cent. CRPS would be redeemed in five annual installments starting from 2019-20. In order to accommodate the CRPS, the authorised share capital of the company is being increased to Rs 225 crore from Rs 150 crore.

In another significant development, Duncans Industries has decided to make a foray into the cash-rich real estate development business. The move is seen as a desperate attempt to change the fortunes of the company.

A special resolution has already been proposed for the shareholders' approval at the next annual general meeting of the shareholders. Sources said that the company is contemplating building residential and commercial buildings in one of its 10 tea gardens located in North Bengal.

More Stories on : Sick Units | Fertilisers | Tea

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