By Saikat Das
Adani Group is in talks with banks to refinance debt taken on to fund its purchase of Ambuja Cements Ltd, with lenders divided into three categories in what could be one of Asia’s largest syndicated loan deals of the year.
Banks are likely to refinance a total of $3.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. Adani would repay at least $300 million on the original Ambuja facility, they said.
The Indian conglomerate backed by billionaire Gautam Adani has been in talks with lenders for several months as it seeks to refinance as much as $3.8 billion worth of debt taken for its Ambuja acquisition.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd., First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, Mizuho Financial Group Inc, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. would each lend about $400 million, said the people. Other banks would lend smaller amounts.
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The advancing negotiations are the latest sign that the conglomerate is returning to a more normal order of business after being rocked by allegations of malfeasance by US shortseller Hindenburg Research, which at one point shaved off more than $150 billion from the company’s stocks. Adani officials have repeatedly denied the claims.
The transaction has not yet been finalized and the terms could still change. If the deal closes, it would be the fourth-biggest loan in Asia outside Japan this year, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.
A spokesman for Adani said in response to Bloomberg’s query that the group did not comment on routine matters of business and speculation.
SMBC and First Abu Dhabi didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s emailed request for comment, while spokespeople at both MUFG and Mizuho declined to comment. A representative for DBS said the bank doesn’t comment on specific deals.
As part of its return to capital markets post Hindenburg, the group’s flagship firm already raised 12.5 billion rupees by issuing local-currency bonds in July. Veteran investor Rajiv Jain’s GQG Partners LLC has also purchased a stake in group firms.