New Delhi: Ruchi Soya Industries’ promoters have sold 1.06 crore shares, worth 3.18% stake, through open market transactions. even as Adani Wilmar Ltd and Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved battled to acquire the debt-ridden firm. Lenders of Ruchi Soya, which is facing bankruptcy proceedings under the insolvency and bankruptcy code, have approved Adani Wilmar’s 6,000 crore debt resolution offer. Patanjali, however, has sought quashing of the acquisition bid on grounds that Adani Wilmar’s managing director Pranav Adani is related to Vikram Kothari, the earlier promoter of Rotomac Group—a bankrupt firm.

Ruchi Soya’s promoter entity Disha Foundation Trust sold 1.06 shares on 24 August—lowering the promoters’ stake in the company to 38.88% from 42.06%, the company said in a BSE filing today.

Ruchi Soya has a total debt of about 12,000 crore. The company has several manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star and Ruchi Gold.

In December 2017, Ruchi Soya Industries entered into the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) and Shailendra Ajmera was appointed as the resolution professional (RP). The appointment was made by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on the application of the creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank, under the insolvency and bankruptcy code.

Adani Wilmar’s bid was approved by the committee of creditors (CoC) with about 96% votes in favour. The RP will now seek approval from the NCLT. While Adani Wilmar emerged as the highest bidder with 6,000 crore offer, Patanjali group came second with a 5,700 crore bid.

Following this, Patanjali Ayurved had sought certain clarifications from the RP of Ruchi Soya, including eligibility of Adani Group to participate in the bidding process. It also sought to know the parameters adopted by the RP to declare Adani Wilmar as the highest bidder.

The Haridwar-based firm had also questioned the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as the RP’s legal advisor as the said law firm was already advising Adani Group.

Patanjali was asked to submit a revised bid by 16 June to match or better the highest offer of 6,000 crore by Adani Wilmar under the Swiss Challenge system adopted by the RP and the committee of creditors.

However, Patanjali wrote to the RP seeking clarifications instead of submitting a fresh bid. Adani Wilmar was selected by the CoC after two-rounds of bidding. Patanjali has now challenged the decision of the CoC in the NCLT, Mumbai.

On Tuesday, Ruchi Soya shares rose 4.95%, or 0.49, to 10.38 on the BSE even as the benchmark Sensex closed 0.52%, or 202.52 points, higher at 38,896.63.

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