NCLAT issues notice to Tata Steel over Bhushan Steel acquisition
The NCLAT notice came in response to a petition filed by Bhushan Steel promoter Neeraj Singhal, but the appellate tribunal declined to stay sale of Bhushan Steel to Tata Steel
New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Monday refused to grant an interim stay on acquisition of Bhushan Steel Ltd by Tata Steel Ltd. “Let us decide the law, but not stall the process,” a bench headed by Justice S.J Mukhopadhyay said.
The appellate tribunal was hearing an appeal by Bhushan Steel promoter Neeraj Singal challenging an order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approving Tata Steel’s resolution plan for the debt-ridden company. It was, however, clarified that the acquisition process would be subject to the final outcome of the appeal.
The NCLAT bench issued notice to the resolution professional, committee of creditors and Tata Steel, asking them to file their replies within seven days.
The bench also asked Tata Steel to enclose the relevant portion of its resolution plan for Bhushan Steel, disclosing the proposals for financial creditors, operational creditors, secured and unsecured creditors as well as shareholders and submit an estimated deadline for the execution of its resolution.
Notices were also issued to two more parties—Bhushan Steel Employees Union and Larsen and Toubro Ltd—that had raised objections against the resolution plan submitted by Tata Steel before the NCLT.
Counsel appearing for Singal, UK Chaudhary, argued that Tata Steel was ineligible to bid in view of Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Chaudhary further sought setting aside of the resolution process for Bhushan Steel arguing it was “illegal”.
L&T, which has a claim of over Rs900 crore against Bhushan Steel, has moved a separate appeal against the approval granted to Tata Steel’s resolution plan, saying that it is oppressive against operational creditors.
On 15 May, The NCLT’s principal bench approved Tata Steel’s resolution plan promising an upfront payment of Rs35,200 crore to lenders, along with a 12.27% stake in the steel maker.
Pursuant to the order, Tata Steel has reportedly acquired a controlling stake of 72.65% in Bhushan Steel for around Rs36,400 crore.
The appeal will be next heard on 30 May.
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