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Business

Binani Cement insolvency: NCLT asks CoC to consider UltraTech’s revised bid, Dalmia may contest order

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The protracted battle to acquire Binani Cement is set for another showdown. The Kolkata bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Wednesday asked the committee of creditors (CoC) of Binani Cement to evaluate a revised offer by UltraTech Cement Ltd. UltraTech’s revised bid is Rs 1,021.70 crore more than that of Dalmia Bharat group’s offer.

The revised bid from UltraTech has to be submitted within three days to the resolution professional to forward the same to the CoC of Binani Cement and the entire process has to be now concluded within June 24, the NCLT said. The UltraTech offer promises to repay the claims without any haircut to all secured and unsecured claims.

The development, which could possibly set a new precedent under the insolvency and bankruptcy code, comes after the Supreme Court had refused to allow the out-of-bankruptcy court deal between UltraTech Cement and Binani Industries (BIL) for its beleaguered subsidiary Binani Cement.

The NCLT directed the resolution professional to accept UltraTech’s revised offer for Binani Cement and place it along with the resolution plan before the committee of creditors (CoC). The NCLT bench also directed the CoC to consider Dalmia Bharat Group’s Rajputana Properties Private Ltd. (RPPL) resolution plan if it matches UltraTech’s offer. RRPL is the lead-member of Dalmia Bharat combine which is in race with Ultratech to takeover Binani Cement.

Meanwhile, the Dalmia Bharat Group expressed surprise over the NCLT Kolkata bench order to Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Binani Cement to consider the revised bid of Ultra Tech Cement and hinted at contesting it at a higher forum.

“We are surprised by the order passed by NCLT today. The Resolution Professional and CoC followed the due process of law in approving the plan of Rajputana Properties Pvt Ltd (RPPL) in which no flaw has been found. We will take all the appropriate steps required,” a Dalmia Bharat spokesperson said in a statement without giving any further details on the proposed step.

“In our view, any revised offer from an unsuccessful resolution applicant outside the resolution process cannot become a basis for setting aside the decision of the CoC. We have a strong conviction that we have followed the law as per the due process and believe that we will eventually succeed,” the group said.

Earlier, Dalmia Bharat Cement had written to the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) asking for a probe in the matter. Dalmia Bharat had said that the bidding process did not allow submission of revised bids. The move had infuriated some of the lenders which have large exposure to Binani Cement.

Binani Industries (BIL) had moved the apex court with an appeal to redeem the pledge of its assets Binani Cement from its lenders. It had also deposited a sum of Rs 750 crore to show its commitment, along with a bank guarantee for the remaining amount of the total offer of Rs 7,266 crore.

In March, UltraTech’s board had agreed to issue a ‘comfort letter’ to provide the above-mentioned amount in return for 98.43 per cent stake in Binani Cement provided the company came out of insolvency proceedings. Significantly, this offer came after the latter’s Committee of Creditors (CoC) had voted in favour of the resolution plan submitted by the Dalmia Bharat-Bain Piramal Resurgence Fund consortium.

The offer from the Aditya Birla Group company was certainly fatter than Dalmia Bharat’s winning bid of around Rs 6,500 crore. So, Binani Cement’s CoC had decided to conditionally back the deal between BIL and UltraTech, subject to the Supreme Court’s nod.

A section of beleaguered Binani Cement’s Operational Creditors (OCs) had pleaded before the Kolkata chapter of the adjudicating authority for rebidding. The OCs will lose about Rs 400 crore worth of claims from Binani Cements if Dalmia Bharat offer is approved, spokesperson of OCs forum Hitesh Bindal had said.

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