The Supreme Court said that Binani Cement’s Committee of Creditors (CoC) is not debarred from considering the revised Ultratech bid to acquire the beleaguered company but restrained it from taking a final decision.
Refusing to debar the CoC from carrying on with further proceedings, which would be subject to the orders of the court, a vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Ashok Bhushan, however, said that “no final order may be passed”.
“In the meantime, no final order may be passed. This order will not debar further proceedings subject to orders of this Court,” said the order passed by the bench.
The court also issued notice to Ultratech Cement and others on the plea by the Dalmia Bharat Group’s Rajputana Properties Private Ltd (RPPL) challenging the Kolkata NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) early May order asking the CoC to consider revised bid by Ultratech Cement.
The apex court directed the next hearing of the matter on July 2.
Meanwhile, resolution professional (RP), Vijaykumar V. Iyer, submitted UltraTech Cement’s revised bid, which was approved by the CoC last month, before the NCLT Kolkata bench for its final approval, though Dalmia Bharat’s RPPL on Monday challenged the eligibility of the Aditya Birla Group company’s to submit a plan for insolvent cement maker.
Ultratech’s revised bid is more than Rs 1,000 crore higher than the one offered by the RPPL.
The RPPL, which had in the first round offered highest bid to acquire Binani Cement, urged the apex court to bar the CoC from considering the revised bid by Ultratech Cement and taking a decision.
This was opposed in the apex court by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the lender banks, and senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi who appeared for Ultratech Cement.
Singh said the lender banks cannot be oblivious to Rs 1,019 crore more coming from the revised bid. He said let the RPPL make a matching bid.
Singhvi said Ultratech was making 100 per cent payments whereas RPPL offer was accompanied with a 100 per cent “hair-cut” of income tax and 100 per cent “hair-cut” of other payments.
The RPPL has moved the top court challenging the direction to CoC to consider the revised bid of the Ultratech Cement after its bid was less than that of the RPPL.
During hearing at the NCLT Kolkata bench on Monday, RPPL counsel opposed the CoC’s decision that UltraTech is eligible to bid under section 29A of the IBC (Insolvency Bankruptcy Code).
He also urged the tribunal to direct the RP to share UltraTech’s revised resolution plan with them as the latter was challenging the plan. Though, RP’s counsel opposed it.
The Tribunal bench asked the RP to serve a copy, relating to the reasons for approving Aditya Birla Group company’s revised bid by the CoC, to Rajputana, without sharing the plan.
The Tribunal on Monday also directed RPPL to file an objection or reply to the CoC’s decision on the eligibility of Ultratech within seven days after getting the copy from the RP. Next hearing at the tribunal has been scheduled on June 18.