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Corporate Debt Restructuring

 


Genesis of CDR Mechanism in India
    
There are occasions when corporates find themselves in financial difficulties because of factors beyond their control and also due to certain internal reasons. For the revival of such corporates as well as for the safety of the money lent by the banks and financial institutions, timely support through restructuring of genuine cases is called for. However, delay in agreement amongst different lending institutions often comes in the way of such endeavors. Based on the experience in countries like the UK, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, etc. of putting in place an institutional mechanism for restructuring of corporate debt and need for a similar mechanism in India, a Corporate Debt Restructuring System was evolved and detailed guidelines were issued by Reserve bank of India on August 23, 2001 for implementation by financial institutions and banks.
    
The Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) Mechanism is a voluntary non-statutory system based on Debtor-Creditor Agreement (DCA) and Inter-Creditor Agreement (ICA) and the principle of approvals by super-majority of 75% creditors (by value) which makes it binding on the remaining 25% to fall in line with the majority decision. The CDR Mechanism covers only multiple banking accounts, syndication/consortium accounts, where all banks and institutions together have an outstanding aggregate exposure of Rs.100 million and above. It covers all categories of assets in the books of member-creditors classified in terms of RBI's prudential asset classification standards. Even cases filed in Debt Recovery Tribunals/Bureau of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction/and other suit-filed cases are eligible for restructuring under CDR. The cases of restructuring of standard and sub-standard class of assets are covered in Category-I, while cases of doubtful assets are covered under Category-II.
    
Reference to CDR Mechanism may be triggered by:
    
Any or more of the creditors having minimum 20% share in either working capital or term finance, or By the concerned corporate, if supported by a bank/FI having minimum 20% share as above.
    
 It may be emphasized here that, in no case, the requests of any corporate indulging in fraud or misfeasance, even in a single bank, can be considered for restructuring under CDR System. However, Core Group, after reviewing the reasons for classification of the borrower as wilful defaulter, may consider admission of exceptional cases for restructuring after satisfying itself that the borrower would be in a position to rectify the wilful default provided he is granted an opportunity under CDR mechanism.
    
Structure of CDR System: The edifice of the CDR Mechanism in India stands on the strength of a three-tier structure:
    CDR Standing Forum
    CDR Empowered Group
    CDR Cell
    
 Legal Basis of CDR
    
The legal basis to the CDR System is provided by the Debtor-Creditor Agreement (DCA) and the Inter-Creditor Agreement (ICA). All banks /financial institutions in the CDR System are required to enter into the legally binding ICA with necessary enforcement and penal provisions. The most important part of the CDR Mechanism which is the critical element of ICA is the provision that if 75% of creditors (by value) agree to a debt restructuring package, the same would be binding on the remaining creditors.
    
Similarly, debtors are required to execute the DCA, either at the time of reference to CDR Cell or at the time of original loan documentation (for future cases). The DCA has a legally binding ‘stand still’ agreement binding for 90/180 days whereby both the debtor and creditor(s) agree to ‘stand still’ and commit themselves not to take recourse to any legal action during the period. ‘Stand Still’ is necessary for enabling the CDR System to undertake the necessary debt restructuring exercise without any outside intervention, judicial or otherwise. However, the ‘stand still’ is applicable only to any civil action, either by the borrower or any lender against the other party, and does not cover any criminal action.
    
Besides, the borrower needs to undertake that during the ‘stand still’ period the documents will stand extended for the purpose of limitation and that he would not approach any other authority for any relief and the directors of the company will not resign from the Board of Directors during the ‘stand still’ period.
    
    
    
OBJECTIVES OF CDR:

  • To ensure timely and transparent mechanism for restructuring of corporate debts of viable entities facing problems, for the benefit of all concerned.
  • To aim at preserving viable corporates that are affected by certain internal and external factors
  • To minimise the losses to the creditors and other stakeholders through an orderly and co-ordinated restructured programme.