Coastal Gujarat Power to merge with Tata Power for tax break

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An onshore wind farm. IAC file photo

Coastal Gujarat Power (CGPL), the wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, turned cash-positive in the October-December quarter of 2020 will merge with its parent Tata Power by February-end. This will provide Rs 10,000-crore tax break to the parent Tata Power over several years.

Over the last 10 years CGPL has made cumulative losses (ex-impairment) of Rs 9,400 crore till FY20. The tax break is expected to be value accretive for Tata Power as its profitability will improve on deleveraging and asset divestment gains. “With NCLT approval for its new structure, we raise our EPS 16 per cent-25 per cent on tax breaks due to merger,” a CLSA Securities report said.

CGPL saw 16 per cent y-o-y growth in EBITDA to Rs 302 crore in spite of an 8 per cent y-o-y fall in revenue to Rs 1,692 crore. Reduction in losses in CGPL led to positive net PAT. Losses in Q3FT21 fell by Rs 69 crore to Rs 95 crore on the back of subdued coal prices.

The average prices of coal during Q3FY21 were $43 per tonne as against $48.6 per tonne a year ago. Fuel under-recovery stands at Rs 0.32 per unit in Q3FY21 against Rs 0.40 per unit a year ago. CGPL’s long-term debt comprises only Rs 3,790 crore of bonds and debentures.

Analysts believe that going ahead Tata Power’s focus on consumer facing business will reduce its exposure to businesses facing imported spot coal, such as Mundra, that have dragged the overall return on capital employed, and can present monetisation opportunities in future.

Morgan Stanley, in a report, said “Tata Power’s exposure to businesses facing imported spot coal, which have been a drag on overall RoCE, will go down incrementally. If its foray into some complementary consumer-facing businesses is successful, it could present interesting long-term monetisation opportunities, in our view.”

As of December 31, 2020, Tata Power’s net debt reduced by 17.19 per cent YoY to Rs 36,363 crore from Rs 43,915 crore a year ago. The net debt to equity stood at 1.49 times, while the weighted average cost of borrowing was 7.8 per cent.

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