Term loan lenders initiate corporate insolvency proceedings against Byju’s in India

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New York/New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Overseas lenders of Byju’s $1.2 billion term loans on Thursday said they have filed a petition before the Bengaluru Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to initiate corporate insolvency resolution proceedings against Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, the parent company of Byju’s.

The GLAS Trust Company LLC (as administrative agent and collateral agent of the Term Loans) has filed a petition pursuant to Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code of India, 2016.

“The myriad issues facing Byju’s are entirely self-inflicted. For months, we sought to avoid this exact situation, repeatedly attempting to engage constructively with Byju’s management and other stakeholders and providing them with multiple paths to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, even including after the Delaware court confirmed the validity of Byju’s’ defaults,” the Ad Hoc Group said in a statement.

Byju’s had secured $1.2 billion in debt through a term loan facility from a consortium of foreign investors in November 2021.

“It is our belief now that Byju’s management has no intention or ability of honouring its obligations under the Term Loans. That said, we are hopeful that India’s corporate insolvency resolution process will help stabilise Think & Learn and result in implementing a resolution plan that accounts for the interests of all stakeholders,” the Group added.

According to the term loan lenders, the action was taken following over 16 months of good faith efforts on behalf of the Ad Hoc Group to restructure the term loans, which, if successful, would have immediately solved the loan’s numerous outstanding defaults, acceleration, and ended all open litigation while avoiding further enforcement actions.

In November 2023, the Delaware Chancery Court recognised that Byju’s had defaulted on its loan obligation and found that the Term Loan lenders were within their contractual rights to replace the sole director of Byju’s Alpha (the US subsidiary of Byju’s established in 2021 to receive proceeds of the term loans).

“Byju’s has exacerbated its defaults and repeatedly disregarded its loan obligations post-default, including refusing to make any contractually required loan payments and Byju’s Alpha transferring $533 million in loan proceeds to an obscure, nascent hedge fund and then apparently transferring the ownership of the money to a still undisclosed entity,” claimed the Group.

Byju’s said in a statement shared earlier in the day that the validity of lenders’ actions, including acceleration of the term loan, “is pending and under challenge in several proceedings, including before the New York Supreme Court”.

“Hence, any proceedings by lenders before NCLT are premature and baseless,” it added.

Byju’s said that the timing of the lenders’ proceedings coincides with the commencement of a rights issue by the company.



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