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Himachal Futuristic to quit Punjab basic circle

Calcutta, Sept. 20 (PTI): Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL) may divest its subsidiary, HFCL Infotel, which provides basic telephony services in Punjab circle, and other non-core subsidiaries to repay debts.

“The company is considering disinvesting certain assets, such as its subsidiary HFCL Infotel and some of its strategic investments in areas which are no longer considered core to its business,” sources said.

The funds raised from such disinvestments would be primarily used for the reduction of HFCL’s debts and for enhancing working capital requirement for core business, sources said.

The company will maintain its focus on manufacturing of transmission and access equipment and providing turnkey services in the telecom sector.

HFCL Infotel had launched its basic telecom services project in the second half of 2000-01 in all the major towns of Punjab and Chandigarh. It had over 60,000 subscribers on its network and claimed to have the richest bouquet of services and products available in the industry.

HFCL Infotel had recorded a net loss of Rs 162.96 crore in the previous fiscal on a total income of Rs 73.35 crore. It had drawn Rs 241 crore of term loans during the year for financing its project roll out and had also tied up fresh term loans of Rs 105 crore from Global Trust and Vysya Bank.

The company had a total debt of Rs 568.08 crore as on March, 2002 and its interest charges amounted close to Rs 71 crore.

HFCL is planning to infuse fresh funds by issuing equity shares and warrants, convertible into equity shares, on private placement basis and will move special resolutions in the coming AGM to get approval of shareholders.

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