ArcelorMittal, which is locked in a three-way fight for the acquisition of bankrupt Essar Steel, first wrote a letter to resolution professional Satish Kumar Gupta targeting rival bidder Vedanta over its alleged violation of environmental law and human rights but shortly withdrew it.
ArcelorMittal, one of the bidders for the bankrupt Essar Steel, which was asked by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to clear dues of Rs 7,000 crore of firms it was previously associated with by September 11 to be eligible to bid, did not pay up on Tuesday. The company will wait for a direction from the Supreme Court that it moved on Monday challenging the appellate tribunal’s order.
The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea of ArcelorMittal seeking extension of time for payment of Rs 7,000 crore as ordered by NCLAT last week for its bid to become eligible for Essar Steel. The apex court refused urgent hearing for ArcelorMittal’s plea for payment of Rs 7,000 crore by today for its second bid to become eligible.
The second round of bids for Essar Steel will be opened in the presence of lenders on Monday, sources close to the development said.
The offers by three bidders — Numetal (minus Aurora Enterprises), ArcelorMittal, and Vedanta — will be opened in line with the September 7 order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). Numetal was joined by JSW as an investor in a step-down subsidiary and ArcelorMittal with Nippon Steel.
Lenders of Essar Steel, which has bad debts to the tune of nearly Rs 500 billion, are planning to offload some of the loans to an asset reconstruction company (ARC), as they face pressure to improve the status of their loan books before the end of the second quarter (Q2) of the current financial year (2018-19 or FY19).
Worried over an inordinate delay in the resolution of Essar Steel’s debt, Indian lenders are taking legal opinion on how to settle the Rs 60-billion debt of Uttam Galva Steels (UGSL). Insolvency proceedings of UGSL is pending before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai since December last.
As the debt resolution of Essar Steel drags, Bank of Baroda (BoB), Federal Bank, IDBI Bank and Jammu & Kashmir Bank have sold part or all their loans to the Ruias-promoted steel company, totaling over Rs 2,000 crore, to overseas investors or asset reconstruction companies. SC Lowly bought the loans from Federal Bank, Bank of Baroda and Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
VTB Capital-led Numetal on Monday said in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that its rival AreclorMittal should not be made eligible to bid for Essar Steel as it is yet to clear dues of two defaulting firms – Uttam Galva Steels and KSS Petron.
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