KKR likes India’s new Bankruptcy Code

New York City-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a multinational private equity firm, specializing in leveraged buyouts, proactively engaged with India’s Federal government on the new bankruptcy code. The Code seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.

KKR produced a white paper on the subject after co-chairman Henry Kravis told Narendra Modi that India lacked proper bankruptcy laws during the latter’s first visit to the U.S. in 2014, soon after becoming prime minister.

I have never seen a government move so fast,” Kravis said. “He (Modi) was back in New York six-nine months later and he told me ‘we’re doing it’. And now what I hear from the lawyers is that it is a pretty darn good code.” The bankruptcy code was approved by India’s Parliament in May last year.

Signboard on Bankruptcy
The Economic Times says: Kravis’ prescription is this: Quantify bad loans as per their fair-market value and not by oft-used matrices like replacement costs, and sell them to asset reconstruction companies with a haircut. That will affect the net worth of the banks and that’s where the government needs to step in to recapitalize balance sheets by selling shares to lower state ownership to below 51%.

“You just place a threshold and say across every industry if the loan is substandard by a certain value or percentage then it goes into the pool and the government tells the banks that we bridge your equity. Banks have to go back to lending once again. In India, they are still the main source of capital.”

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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