NEW DELHI: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Thursday asked the committee of creditors (CoC) of debt-ridden Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd to proceed with the bids submitted by steel giant Tata Steel Ltd and UK-based Liberty House.
NCLAT also directed the CoC to keep its decision over the bids in a sealed cover and said it would be subject to its final order.
The appellate tribunal also declined the request of lenders to direct both parties to submit fresh bids, following a suggestion by the CoC of the debt-laden company seeking clarification over the process.
NCLAT has listed the matter for further hearing on July 12.NCLAT bench headed by Chairman Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya heard the appeal moved by Tata Steel Ltd against an NCLT order directing the CoC to consider UK-based Liberty House’s resolution plan.
The appellate tribunal reiterated its 9 May order allowing the CoC to consider the resolution plans submitted before it.
Tata Steel, had earlier, filed an appeal in NCLAT, challenging the NCLT order asking lenders to consider a late bid by UK’s Liberty House for Bhushan Power & Steel.
The last date for submission of bids for the bankrupt company was 8 February, whereas the insolvency resolution professional received Liberty House’s proposal on 20 February.The bid was initially rejected by the creditors but was eventually opened under directions from the NCLT on April 23.
Liberty House had moved NCLT on February 26 against the rejection of its bid.
Both the companies are very keen to acquire Bhushan Power & Steel as it is the second-biggest in terms of capacity and can produce 3.2 million tonnes of steel a year. Bhushan Steel has plants in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh; Khopoli, Maharashtra; and Dhenkanal, Odisha.
For Tata, which recently completed the acquisition of another Bhushan company — the acquisition of Bhushan Steel will add to its existing capacity. As for Liberty House, the acquisition will provide it a firm presence in the Indian market.
While reports suggests that Tata Steel has offered Rs 17,000 crore to the lenders as upfront amount and Rs 7,200 crore for operations of Bhushan, Liberty house has offered over Rs 26,000 crore for acquiring the company.
All the twists and turns:
July 26, 2017
Bhushan Power & Steel (BPSL) admitted in the insolvency court.
September 21, 2017
BPSL invites Expressions of Interest by October 6 from bidders.
7 bidders qualify as eligible under the CoC’s criteria; Liberty House not among those who submit EoIs, but makes interest known orally by October 30.
BPSL CoC meets and decides to circulate process documents only to seven eligible bidders; does not preclude Liberty House from submitting a resolution plan.
Process document for submission of resolution plans issued to only the 7 firms; deadline for submission set for February 8.
February 08, 2018
Deadline for submitting resolution plans run out; Tata Steel and JSW Steel submit plans.
February 20, 2018
Liberty House submits bid.
February 22, 2018
Resolution Professional rejects bid, leaves it unopened.
February 26, 2018
Liberty House moves NCLT challenging the decision.
April 23, 2018
NCLT asks CoC to consider Liberty’s bid.
May 9, 2018
Tata Steel, the frontrunner in the race, challenges NCLT’s decision to consider Liberty’s bid.
May 24, 2018
NCLAT asks Bhushan Power & Steel lenders to proceed with bids submitted by Tata Steel and Liberty House; next hearing on July 12.