UPDATE 1-India's Tulip Telecom in debt recast talks

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:43am EST

(Adds details of debt, comment from statement)

MUMBAI Dec 31 (Reuters) - India's Tulip Telecom Ltd , which defaulted on a $140 million convertible bond redemption in August, said on Monday it is in talks with lenders to restructure its long-term debt.

Tulip, which designs and manages communication networks of large enterprises, is negotiating for a moratorium on principal and interest payments with banks, and extending the repayment period, which could help ease the debt and interest burden, it said in a statement.

Tulip had consolidated debt of 30.3 billion rupees ($553 million) at end-September. It was not clear how much of this amount will be restructured by banks.

"The near-term outlook is mixed, considering liquidity constraints and a volatile market environment, despite strong business fundamentals," Chairman H.S. Bedi said in a statement to stock exchanges.

Tulip joins a long list of Indian companies that have turned to the corporate debt restructuring mechanism, a voluntary process whereby creditors approve an easing of repayment terms.

Last month, lenders to Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd agreed to restructure about 110 billion rupees ($1.97 billion) of its debt, sources said. ($1 = 54.81 rupees) (Reporting by Prashant Mehra; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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