Edtech major Byju's lenders scrap talks to restructure a $1.2 bn loan

Byju's has to make an interest payment on the loan by June 5

Byju’s Co-founders Byju Raveendran

Byju’s Co-founders Byju Raveendran


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By Anto Antony and Reshmi Basu

Creditors to Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, have pulled out of negotiations with the company to recast a $1.2 billion loan, posing a new setback to the beleaguered tech firm, according to people familiar with the matter.

The talks were called off after the creditors moved court, accusing the firm of hiding $500 million of funds raised, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. Lenders can now sell the term loan B securities of the firm as the restraint that came as part of the negotiations is lifted, they said.

The move is a fresh challenge for one of India’s hottest tech companies, which has been working to appease creditors by offering prepayments and higher coupons to restructure the loan. Though the steering committee of lenders has discontinued the talks, the company will try to reach out to all lenders independently to renegotiate the terms, one of the people said.

Byju’s has to make an interest payment on the loan by June 5, the people said. The company will get “a large capital infusion” soon that will allow it to pay down the loan, its lawyer said in a US court last month while denying allegations of hiding the funds raised as loan.

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A spokesperson for Byju’s didn’t respond to an email seeking comment on lenders pulling out of the talks. A representative for Houlihan Lokey Inc., hired by creditors to advise them on loan restructuring, declined to comment.

The company had offered to increase the coupon on loan due 2026 by as much as 300 basis points and prepay part of the debt to renegotiate the agreement after it missed a deadline to file audited financial results.

The loan, one of the largest unrated debt raised by a startup ever, slumped to a record 64.5 cents a dollar in September and is now quoted at around 79 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

First Published: Jun 1 2023 | 1:21 PM IST

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