KKR mulling $328 mil loan for India’s Hotel Leelaventure

(Reuters) – India’s Hotel Leelaventure Ltd, an operator of luxury hotels, is in talks with KKR & Co LP to receive a loan of up to 20 billion rupees ($327.36 million), a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Hotel Leelaventure could pledge part of its assets with KKR for the financing and the private equity firm is seeking an option that would allow it to swap the loan with shares, the source added, without providing any further details.

The hotel operator said in an exchange filing it is in talks with investors and lenders to raise funds and said its board will meet on Wednesday to consider a proposal to evaluate options on fulfilling its debt obligations. It did not provide more details.

KKR declined to comment.

Shares in Hotel Leelaventure, which had debt of 46.59 billion rupees as of March 2013 according to its annual report, rose as much as 6.3 percent on Monday.

The talks were earlier reported by The Economic Times newspaper.

KKR plans to offer funding to struggling companies in India where rising bad loans has constrained bank lending and low demand has ruled out share sales for many small and mid-sized firms, its co-founder Henry Kravis said last month during a visit to the country.

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