NCLAT extends deadline for Bhushan Power bids to 13 August
The three bidders for Bhushan Power—Tata Steel, Liberty House and JSW Steel —have been directed to ‘improve their financial offer’ by 13 August
New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Monday extended the deadline for submission of revised resolution plans for the debt-ridden Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd (BPSL) by a week. The three bidders for Bhushan Power—Tata Steel Ltd, Liberty House and JSW Steel Ltd—have been directed to “improve their financial offer” by 13 August. In its last hearing, the appellate tribunal had set the deadline as 6 August.
The two-judge NCLAT bench headed by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyaya said that the tribunal was not going to pass any order as the matter was pending before the Supreme Court.
On Friday, Tata Steel moved the Supreme Court challenging the NCLAT’s order that allowed revision of bids for Bhushan Power and sought an urgent hearing on the matter as lenders might take a decision on resolution plans.
However, the three-judge panel headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra refused urgent hearing of Tata Steel’s plea and scheduled the matter for 10 August.
On Wednesday, the NCLAT directed the committee of creditors (CoC) to decide on the revised bids and keep it in a sealed cover after its submission on 6 August.
The bench said only the financial part of the bids could be changed.
The move came as a big blow for Tata Steel, which had been declared the highest qualified bidder for the second time by the CoC on Tuesday.
On 20 July, the NCLAT had directed the CoC to consider resolution plans submitted by Tata Steel, Liberty House and JSW Steel. It had also directed the CoC to call all the three bidders, along with operational creditors and the suspended board of directors of Bhushan Power and Steel, to the meeting.
JSW Steel has revised its offer from ₹ 11,000 crore to ₹ 18,000 crore, while Tata Steel’s offer stands at ₹17,000 crore and Liberty House’s at ₹18,600 crore.
UK-based Liberty House had alleged it was not informed about the meeting.
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.
The resolution period for the company was to end on 23 June.
However, the appellate tribunal has said that the duration of the pending appeal be excluded from the 270-day resolution time frame for the completion of the corporate insolvency process.
The matter will be heard next on 17 August.
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