Mumbai: The resolution professional of TVS Capital Funds-backed Dunar Foods Ltd has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against the attachment of the firm’s assets by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“The company was admitted to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and the moratorium started from 2 December but the ED had attached the properties of the company on 22 December," argued Rahul Gaikwad, partner of law firm Gravitas Legal, which is representing the resolution professional. “We have moved to the tribunal against the attachment, since the agency can’t take any such steps when the company is already under moratorium," he added.
The total debt of the company is around Rs758 crore.
After hearing arguments, M.K. Shrawat directed ED to file its reply and observed that the agency and resolution professional should try to work together rather than in silos.
The tribunal will hear the matter next on 18 April.
When contacted, Anil Kohli, the resolution professional for Dunar Foods, confirmed the development and said there were a couple of queries for the company’s assets but no resolution plan yet. “The deadline of 180 days is coming to an end on 22 June," he added. The ED had attached assets, valued at over Rs177 crore, in connection with its money laundering probe in the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) case.
“The said properties are controlled by Surender Gupta of P.D. Agro Processors Pvt. Ltd and Dunar Foods Ltd," the agency said in a statement.
“P.D. Agro Processors Pvt. Ltd has fraudulently obtained huge funds from NSEL by trading on the exchange platform against non-existent/fictitious sale of their commodity, which is paddy/rice," the agency said, adding that “the money trail has revealed that a huge chunk of proceeds of crime has been transferred to Ms Dunar Foods Ltd, a sister concern of P.D. Agro Processors Pvt. Ltd."
In 2014, IL&FS Trust Co. Ltd, a trustee of TVS Capital Funds, had moved the company law tribunal in Mumbai against Dunar Foods, alleging mismanagement of funds, misconduct towards the PE firm and oppression of minority shareholders.
TVS Capital Funds and International Finance Corp. (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, had jointly invested $30 million in Dunar Foods to aid the firm’s expansion plans in early 2012. Gopal Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, TVS Capital, declined to comment. IL&FS in an email response said it does not comment on market speculation.