ET Intelligence Group: The rising share of renewables in India’s total energy consumption does not appear to have significantly benefitted companies floated by Deepak Kochhar, who has a sizeable interest in the sector. An ET Intelligence Group analysis of the documents filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) shows that companies in which Deepak Kochhar is either a managing director or a director reported a substantial increase in borrowings between FY15 and FY17, amid falling revenue.
The combined debt of NuPower Technologies, NuPower Renewables, NuPower Wind Farm, and Echanda Urja increased 22.5 per cent to Rs 1,008.6 crore in FY17, from Rs 823 crore in FY15. Their revenue dropped by 17 per cent to Rs 206 crore, from Rs 249 crore, in the same period despite the companies controlling operational renewable energy assets of nearly 700 megawatts (MW).
NuPower Renewables sells electricity to various state grids under 13- 20 year power purchase agreements and directly to corporate customers.
The debt and revenue considered in the calculation are based on details filed under MGT-7 form. Financial details of most of these companies are not available beyond FY15. E-mails and text message sent by ET to NuPower officials for more information on financial performance remained unanswered.
Interestingly, NuPower Renewables reduced its debt to Rs 250 crore in FY16 from Rs 686 crore in FY15 without showing adequate revenue support. In addition, NuPower Technologies in January 2017 released the charge on a loan of Rs 273 crore taken in 2014 from Centbank Financial Services even though this amount of debt was not reflecting on the balance sheet.
The MCA documents show that Deepak Kochhar’s companies took loans from the Central Bank, Canara Bank, JM Financial Products, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Axis Bank, and India Infoline Finance. Axis Bank has the largest exposure under Axis Trustee Service, which has given loan to Echanda Urja against a mortgage on the wind power assets in Tamil Nadu.
NuPower came into limelight after the allegation surrounding ICICI Bank’s disbursement of a loan to the Videocon group, which allegedly had business interests in NuPower promoted by Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank’s CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar.
NuPower Renewables holds 100 per cent, 73.2 per cent, and 70.9 per cent stakes in NuPower Technologies, NuPower Wind Farm and Echanda Urja, respectively.
Deepak Kochhar took a salary of Rs 2.7 crore and Rs 2.5 crore in FY17 and FY16, respectively, as the managing director of Echanda Urja.
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