KKR Buys India’s JBF Petrochemicals
Private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has agreed to buy JBF Industries’ petrochemicals business for an undisclosed sum, according to reports in India’s media. KKR has owned a 20% stake in JBF Industries since August 2015.
The deal is part of a restructuring scheme that the Indian polyester group has proposed to its lenders, in an attempt to prevent them from pushing the company into bankruptcy. After it is completed by Sept. 30, JBF will no longer consolidate the petrochemical division’s debt of $464 million in its own accounts.
JBF Industries will use the funds from KKR to partly repay its debt as well as keeping some back for working capital requirements. The company said the infusion of working capital will help bolster its operations to full capacity over the next two quarters and improve profitability.
In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, JBF said its board of directors has approved a scheme of arrangement involving debt restructuring to secured and unsecured lenders. This scheme comprises the complete divestment of its wholly-owned subsidiary JBF Petrochemicals, which owns a PTA project in Mangalore in Karnataka, India.
The 1.2 million t/y PTA plant at Mangalore is expected to go on stream in the third quarter of 2018, although media reports say start-up has been delayed several times.