Ready to pay Rs500 crore more for Binani Cement: UltraTech
UltraTech Cement is willing to pay Rs7,960 crore for Binani Cement if NCLT orders liquidation and will raise its offer by Rs500 crore if any firm matches its bid
Kolkata: UltraTech Cement Ltd’s legal counsel on Thursday raised the company’s bid for Binani Cement Ltd by Rs500 crore, while reaffirming the AV Birla Group company’s Rs7,960 crore bid in the event of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) ordering liquidation of the beleaguered cement maker.
Though the liquidation value of the firm is as little as Rs2,300 crore, counsel Mukul Rohatgi said UltraTech was willing to pay Rs7,960 crore for Binani Cement if the tribunal ordered liquidation of the firm. And during liquidation, if any bidder matched its offer, UltraTech would raise its bid by another Rs500 crore, Rohatgi submitted before the Kolkata bench of the NCLT.
When asked if UltraTech would stand by the statement made by its legal counsel at the tribunal, a spokesperson for the company declined to comment.
Even in the wake of UltraTech’s aggressive bidding for Binani Cement, Dalmia Bharat Ltd, the company chosen by the lenders as the top bidder, said there was no question of upping its bid. Dalmia Bharat’s resolution plan has already been accepted and submitted to the tribunal for its approval, said Mahendra Singhi, group chief executive officer of Dalmia Bharat. “We have strong case,” he added.
Rohatgi claimed at the tribunal that Dalmia Bharat had initially offered Rs6,589 crore for the assets of Binani Cement, which include limestone deposits that would last several decades. UltraTech’s original bid was only Rs50-100 crore lower than Dalmia Bharat’s, according to an AV Birla Group official who declined to be named.
Though the committee of creditors engaged in discussions with Dalmia Bharat exclusively and got its bid raised to Rs6,932 crore, it did not give a similar opportunity to UltraTech, Rohatgi submitted at the tribunal, adding that the resolution professional, or the administrator for Binani Cement, had extended the deadline for filing nominations at least five times.
Rohatgi prayed for cancellation of the lenders’ approval of Dalmia Bharat’s bid. He said the committee of creditors should consider UltraTech’s bid as well, and take a decision accordingly.
With its latest bid of Rs7,960 crore, UltraTech has said it would pay all creditors in full including vendors, except those found to be related to the promoters of Binani Cement. The AV Birla Group company has said it will fully pay off statutory dues of Rs177.5 crore, unlike Dalmia Bharat, which has proposed to pay Rs33 crore only.
Claiming that some lenders could be short-changed if Dalmia Bharat’s bid is approved, UltraTech has said it would pay all banks in full, and even pay Rs381.96 in accrued interest. Dalmia Bharat had proposed to offer 20% equity stake post-resolution to IDBI Bank.
Dalmia Bharat has offered to settle the dues of operational creditors assessed by the administrator at Rs503 crore for Rs151 crore. But UltraTech has offered to pay Rs443 crore—only Rs60 crore of dues to related parties are to be forfeited, shows the bid reviewed by Mint. Both bidders have pledged to infuse Rs350 crore as working capital for Binani Cement and pay workers in full.
Operational creditors have claimed that Binani Cement owes them over Rs700 crore, but the administrator has admitted claims up to Rs503 crore only, of which Rs60 crore has been identified as dues to related parties.
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