Jan 31, 2009

Business - Subhiksha on virtual collapse, needs Rs 300 cr

Stating that its operations are "near standstill", retail chain Subhiksha Trading Services on Friday said it needs liquidity injection of up to Rs 300 crore to get the company back on track as it had run out of cash in October last year.

"(The company is at) a stage where operations are at near standstill. We are working with the financial stakeholders - lenders and investors - to inject liquidity and get company back on track," a company spokesperson said.

"We need a liquidity injection of up to Rs 300 crore, while we argue on whether it is debt or equity that really does not matter, the business can get back to near peak levels once this cash is available," he added.

The company's lenders, while supportive, were also unable to extend further lines unless the equity was raised. Net net it became a chicken and egg story with the company running out of cash by October, he said.

"We never took serious credit from suppliers, most purchases were on limited or nil credit. When we could not pay for fresh buying, the trade cycle collapsed in October and that is what brought us to a standstill," the spokesperson added.

He, however, insisted that the company was not closing shop. "No, we are in pain but we are not shutting down." Despite the issues of large employment at risk and a sound business model it is taking time to get the pieces closed as all stakeholders have to come to agreement and it is stressed time for many of them as well, he said.

The company is now engaging in getting the restart plan approved by the financial stakeholders and then get the liquidity so that it can continue from where it left, he said.

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