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Jenson seeks debt recast

Calcutta, Sept. 9: In a bid to reduce its interest burden, Jenson and Nicholson (India) Ltd has asked its lenders to restructure its debt. The company has submitted a scheme prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers to reduce its interest cost.

The Calcutta-based paint company, which posted a net loss of Rs 26.66 crore in the 18-month financial year ended March 31, 2002, is also trying to borrow funds from abroad to retire its high-cost domestic debts. In its annual report for its extended financial year 2000-02, Jenson and Nicholson admits to serious working capital constraints. “Efforts are on to solve the working capital shortage and restructure the debts, which alone will bring the company back to satisfactory level of performance,” the report says.

Jenson and Nicholson has Rs 159.73 crore in secured and unsecured loans on its balance sheet, which cost Rs 32.74 crore in interest in the last financial year.

The company pays up to 20.5 per cent on its non-convertible debentures placed with financial institutions like the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) and the Unit Trust of India.

Explaining its loss during the 18-month period, Jenson and Nicholson said it lost close to Rs 9 crore due to the flood in September 2000 which affected its Naihati plant.

The company’s annual report says: “The Naihati plant was under water for nearly a fortnight and could not be brought back to normal operations till March 2001. Therefore our sales were affected for nearly six months and we lost over Rs 30 crore in sales over and above the loss on account of floods to stocks and machinery amounting to Rs 19.65 crore.”

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