ICICI Bank seeks buyers for Rs 338-crore exposure to Soma Infrastructure


In an order dated September 20, the Hyderabad ‘B’ bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal had said that Soma Infrastructure was a subsidiary of Soma Enterprise.

ICICI Bank on Monday sought expressions of interest (EoIs) from asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) for its Rs 338-crore exposure to Soma Infrastructure. The asset is being offered on a full-cash basis. Soma Infrastructure is a Hyderabad-based company that owes ICICI Bank over Rs 149 crore in principal dues, and another Rs 189 crore in accrued interest and other charges.

In an order dated September 20, the Hyderabad ‘B’ bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal had said that Soma Infrastructure was a subsidiary of Soma Enterprise. “…it is clear that assessee is a subsidiary company and assessee has diverted the funds sanctioned by ICICI Bank to the step down subsidiaries i.e. Beta Infratech P. Ltd. and Soma Jabalpur Rewa Tollway Pvt. Ltd.(SPV),” the tribunal observed in the order.

The tribunal further said that Soma Infrastructure is a company incorporated and active in providing consultancy services to its parent company and has no other business connections with the other step-down subsidiaries of Soma Enterprise, except related concern. “The assessee was utilised by the parent company to source the funds from the bank after giving the required bank guarantee. “The funds were utilised by the step down companies and we notice that assessee has advanced to M/s Beta Infratech as long term unsecured loan,” the order said. The funds were utilised in the business for the purpose of making payments for fixed assets and capital work-in-progress. At the same time, Soma Jabalpur Rewa Tollway received the loan from Soma Infrastructure and diverted it to the holding company, the appellate tribunal said.

In February this year, lenders to the parent company Soma Enterprise, led by State Bank of India, had also initiated the process for selling their loans. The loans to this company stood at Rs 2,099 crore as on March 31, 2020, while investments in it were to the tune of Rs 1,345 crore.

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