IL&FS to sell education arm to Lexington Holdings, pare Rs 600 crore debt

Mumbai: Lexington Equity Holdings Ltd., (LEHL) is set to take over IL&FS education arm Schoolnet India lt., after the committee of creditors approved the sale, two people aware of the development said. As per the deal, LEHL would service the entire debt of Rs 600 crore owed by Schoolnet and would pay a small equity to parent IL&FS. LEHL already owns 26% in the company.

In February ET had reported that, LEHL had sent notices to parent IL&FS expressing its unwillingness to sell its stake to then highest bidder Career Point and restricted IL&FS from concluding the sale of the education business.

“After prolonged discussion and negotiations, LEHL decided to acquire IL&FS stake in Schoolnet India and its subsidiaries by offering same terms as Career Point on debt responsibilities but giving higher amount towards equity to IL&FS,” an official in the know said.

The proposed sale has been approved Justice D K Jain and has now been submitted to NCLT for final approval. The sale, once approved is expected to be completed before the close of December quarter.

IL&FS spokesperson Sharad Goel declined to comment while LEHL could not be immediately contacted.

IL&FS Group holds 73.70% stake in Schoolnet India Limited (SIL); and Schoolnet India Limited holds 80% stake in IL&FS Skill Development Corporation (ISDC) and also has two subsidiaries – IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Limited (ICDI) and Skill Training Assessment Management Partners Limited (STAMP).

Last month, IL&FS had said it was confident of resolving debt of over Rs 57,000 crore, nearly 57% of its overall dues of Rs 99,000 crore. Of this, the group estimates to address close to Rs 50,500 crore of its debt by March 2021, and an additional debt of Rs 6,600 crore beyond FY21.

Till the end of the June quarter, IL&FS had resolved debt of Rs 17,640 crore, nearly 18% of its total debt, through a combination of asset sales, debt repayment to green entities, debt discharged in non-green entities and available cash balance across the group.