The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rescuers wade in to fish out sinking loans
- Spotlight turns to management of NPAs

Mumbai, April 6: With banks and financial institutions working overtime to recover huge non-performing assets (NPAs) from defaulters after the passage of the Securitisation Bill, scores of players branded ‘functional specialists’ have come forward to assist the banks.

The list features names like the Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, GE Capital, Morgan Stanley and Lone Star. And the queues are only lengthening.

Leading chartered accountants and legal firms in the country, apart from traditional specialists like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG, are now eyeing a slice of the pie.

Bankers point out that while players like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are showcasing their experiences in South Korea, Thailand and the UK, there are new entrants willing to provide a comprehensive range of asset valuation and loan recovery services to all the banks.

PwC plans to provide a wide range of services based on its experience in corporate workout assistance and liquidation administration.

At home, it is Armedas, which has decided to join the club. As the country’s first consortium with a global reach, the firm will provide a complete basket of asset valuation and loan recovery services to all leading banks and financial institutions stuck with large NPAs.

The consortium boasts of functional specialists with experience in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, business and debt restructuring, real estate valuation and property disposal. Armedas is led by Meghraj Financial Services (India), a part of the London-based Meghraj group. The other partners are Dalal Mott Macdonald, engaged in valuation, engineering and management consultancy, Chesterton Meghraj property Consultants, a property disposal agent and N A Shah Associates (Consultants), an accounting, audit, taxation and consulting firm.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Anand Kumar, managing director of Meghraj Financial Services, said the consortium has already succeeded in obtaining assignments from banks and financial institutions. These include the Industrial Development bank of India, IFCI and the Central Bank of India.

The consortium is in talks with the State Bank of India to assist them in their local recovery process.

While most of the work entrusted to the corporation is related to the sale of real estate assets, it has also obtained an order for the complete sale of an undertaking, the managing director said.

Armedas has worked out two models for the sale of assets, which includes direct sale of property or sale of the business along with its underlying assets. Although the consortium specialises in the textile and pharmaceutical industries, its fees are projected to be in the range of 2-10 per cent of the value of the assets sold.

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