ArcelorMittal’s ₹50,000 cr. Essar Steel bid lands it pole

IRP to assess if bidders, including Numetal, meet eligibility

February 25, 2018 01:30 am | Updated February 26, 2018 03:01 pm IST - MUMBAI

Lakshmi N Mittal

Lakshmi N Mittal

L.N. Mittal’s ArcelorMittal has put in a bid exceeding ₹50,000 crore to acquire debt-laden Essar Steel, making it the highest offer at the sale of the steelmaker under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), according to sources.

ArcelorMittal’s bid is said to be much higher than that of the Mauritius-based Numetal, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in which Rewant Ruia — son of Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia — holds a stake, a source in the know of the development, told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.

However, both bids need the interim resolution professional (IRP)’s nod on eligibility, especially Section 29A of the IBC that aims to bar defaulting promoters from bidding.

Satish K Gupta, IRP, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Both the bidders have also cast doubt on their competitor’s eligibility..

ArcelorMittal owned a 29% stake and was a co-promoter of Uttam Galva, a company which had featured in the Reserve Bank of India’s list of defaulting companies. However, the global steel major exited Uttam Galva earlier this month by transferring its stake to Sainath Trading Company, a co-promoter group entity.

‘No Essar Steel link’

Asked about Numetal’s eligibility given that Rewant Ruia is a stake holder, a senior company official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said , “Rewant Ruia is a minority stake holder in Numetal. He has got nothing to do with Essar Steel.”

“The stakes are very high for both,” said a Mumbai-based analyst, who declined to be named citing the brokerage’s media policy. “Ruias would like to retain control ... as they had to sell their cash cow Essar Oil.”

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