The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday approved a revised bid by Aditya Birla group firm UltraTech Cement for acquiring debt-ridden Binani Cement at ₹7,950 crore.
The tribunal went in favour of the revised resolution plan submitted by UltraTech Cement, noting that it had taken care of maximisation of the assets of the ‘corporate debtor’ and also balanced the claim of all stakeholders of the ‘corporate debtor’.
A bench headed by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya rejected the rival bid by the Dalmia Group-led Rajputana Properties Pvt. Limited., saying it was “discriminatory” to some of the creditors of Binani Cement. “The Rajputana Properties Private Limited, in its resolution plan, has discriminated some of the financial creditors who are equally situated and not balanced the other stakeholders such as operational creditors,” the tribunal said, explaining why it had rejected Rajputana’s bid.
Initially, Rajputana had emerged as the top bidder with a bid for approximately ₹6,932 crore, but UltraTech revised its bid to about ₹7,950 crore.
No differential treatment
“The I&B (Insolvency and Bankruptcy) Code or the regulations framed by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India do not prescribe differential treatment between the similarly situated operational creditors or the financial creditors on one or other grounds,” the bench said.
The insolvency case against Binani Cement was initiated in July last year. The company owes about ₹7,000 crore to financial and operational creditors.
In April, the Supreme Court had refused clearance for UltraTech Cement to go for an out-of-court settlement for the ‘bankrupt’ Binani Cement.