NCLAT to decide Binani Cement tussle

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on May 10, 2018

Supreme Court refuses to intervene; Tribunal posts case for May 22

The fate of the tussle between UltraTech Cement and Dalmia Bharat-controlled Rajputana Properties for acquiring the stressed asset of Binani Cement will be decided by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal following the Supreme Court refusal to intervene in the matter at this stage.

Earlier this month, Dalmia Bharat had moved NCLAT seeking a stay against the National Company Law Tribunal order directing the Committee of Creditors to consider the revised offer of UltraTech for Binani Cement.

Without staying the NCLT order, the Appellate Tribunal posted the case for hearing on May 22. Simultaneously, Dalmia Bharat moved the Supreme Court challenging the NCLT order.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected Dalmia Bharat plea challenging the NCLT order and directed the Appellate Tribunal to hear the company’s plea without adjournment from May 22.

Meanwhile, the Committee of Creditors who were supposed to meet here to consider the revised higher bid offered by UltraTech has been put off indefinitely, said sources.

Dalmia Bharat had earlier written to the CoC and resolution professional asking them not to admit UltraTech’s bid, and to postpone the CoC meeting till the SC had heard them out.

Dalmia Bharat had also alleged UltraTech is ineligible to bid as they are acting ‘in concert’ with the defaulted promoter of Binani Cement.

However, it will be very difficult for Dalmia Bharat to prove its allegation as UltraTech Cement is a listed entity and not stoop to that level of joining hands with defaulted promoter, said an analyst.

Dalmia Bharat also appealed to the Supreme Court that UltraTech is ineligible under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code as its resolution plan has been disqualified by the CoC.

By allowing the bid to even be considered, the NCLT has permitted an illegally directed process on the basis of a toppling bid of an unsuccessful and ineligible applicant, it had said. Binani Cement has been undergoing insolvency proceedings initiated by NCLT since July 2017. In March, the Dalmia consortium emerged as the preferred bidder with an offer of ₹6,300 crore, despite UltraTech’ revised bid of ₹7,266 crore.

Later, UltraTech entered into an agreement with the promoters of Binani Cement to provide ₹7,266 crore financial guarantee to terminate the insolvency proceedings against the cement unit. In April, UltraTech re-revised bid to ₹7,966 crore which was approved in NCLT.

Published on May 10, 2018

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