Mumbai: Adani Wilmar Ltd, which was selected as the highest bidder for Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd, has decided to opt out of the race. Adani Wilmar, promoted by billionaire Gautam Adani, on Tuesday informed the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that it is willing to withdraw the proposed resolution plan to acquire Ruchi Soya citing delays in the corporate insolvency resolution process.

However, Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, promoted by Baba Ramdev, has informed the NCLT that it is still willing to match the bid by Adani Wilmar. Patanjali was the second-highest bidder.

The Mumbai bench of NCLT presided by judicial member V.P. Singh and technical member Ravikumar Duraiswamy heard both the parties and directed them to file formal applications.

The tribunal will next hear the matter on 7 February.

“The committee of creditors (CoC) has approved the resolution plan of Adani Wilmar with more than 92% voting in favour of the company. The 270 days are already over for the resolution process. At this stage, can NCLT allow Patanjali to submit its bid and also Adani Wilmar to withdraw its resolution plan? This is something that is yet to be tested under law," said a person privy to the development.

Melvyn Fernandes, associate partner at law firm Vaish Associates Advocates, the lawyer representing Patanjali in the NCLT, confirmed the development but declined to elaborate.

An emailed query to Shailendra Ajmera of EY, who is the resolution professional for Ruchi Soya, remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

The CoC had approved Adani Wilmar’s resolution plan in August but Patanjali had challenged the bidding process with the argument that it violates Section 29 (A) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

A resolution applicant (bidder) is ineligible to submit a plan if connected to a person who meets any of the ineligibility criteria, according to the section. The definition of connected person makes reference to the related party, which in turn lists relatives as well.

Indore-based Ruchi Soya is part of the second list of 28 defaulters the Reserve Bank of India flagged for resolution. On 2 December, the NCLT bench admitted the company for insolvency resolution process under the IBC. The company owes more than 10,000 crore to various entities.

On Tuesday, Ruchi Soya shares rose 1.23%, or 0.10, to 8.23 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 1.30%, or 464.77 points, to end the day at 36,318.33 points.

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