NCLAT adjourns hearing over JSW’s bid for Bhushan Power and Steel
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Monday adjourned the hearing of Tata Steel’s plea against the revised JSW Steel bid for Bhushan Power and Steel to 1 November.
Bhushan Power and Steel, which owes more than ₹48,500 crore to a consortium of lenders led by Punjab National Bank (PNB), is one of the 12 large companies identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for early insolvency resolution.
Bhushan Power and Steel operates a 3.5 million tonne (mt) steel plant in Odisha.
According to a plea filed by Tata Steel, the lenders to the debt-ridden Bhushan Power and Steel permitted rival JSW Steel to change the basic parameters of its bid post submission after having declared Tata Steel as the highest bidder on the affidavit.
Last week, more than two-thirds of the lenders to Bhushan Power and Steel voted in favour of a revised offer by JSW Steel, turning on the heat in a contest for an asset that is being pursued by Tata Steel and UK’s Liberty House.
In the initial round of bidding, Bhushan Power and Steel had received bids of ₹11,000 crore from JSW Steel, ₹17,000 crore from Tata Steel and ₹18,500 crore from Liberty House.
The Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Steel had subsequently revised its bid to ₹19,700 crore, which has now won approval from the lenders.
A two-member NCLAT bench headed by Chairperson Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya directed the counsel appearing for Tata Steel to complete their arguments on the matter in the next hearing. “Either complete the arguments or we’ll ask them (a committee of creditors) to consider the revised plan,” said the NCLAT bench.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of Tata Steel, said, “Because it is a committee of creditors (CoC), it cannot allow changes after changes…. six bids have been allowed by the CoC to JSW Steel.”
Passing an order on August 6, the NCLAT had allowed all three contenders — Tata Steel, Liberty House and JSW — to file additional unconditional “resolution plans” by August 13, improving their financial offer without compromising the basic parameters of the resolution plans already submitted by them.
However, the CoC allowed JSW to change the basic parameters of its resolution plans.