New Delhi: In a victory for UltraTech Cement Ltd, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld an order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) approving its revised ₹ 7,900 crore bid to buy debt-laden Binani Cement Ltd.
While upholding UltraTech’s bid, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman dismissed the appeal by Dalmia Bharat Pvt. Ltd-owned Rajputana Properties.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the committee of creditors (CoC), told the court that UltraTech’s bid was backed by 100% of secured creditors, 100% of unsecured creditors and 100% of operational creditors.
Opposing this, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, on behalf of Rajputana Properties, said this was against the spirit of the insolvency law and that one could not have revised its bid after being aware of the competitor’s bid.
On 14 November, a two-member bench of NCLAT had dismissed an appeal by Rajputana Properties, saying its offer for Binani Cement was “discriminatory" against some financial creditors.
“The objective of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is resolution (and) the purpose of the resolution is for maximization of the value of assets of the debtor," the tribunal had ruled.
At the root of the dispute is a decision by Binani Cement’s CoC to consider an improved bid from UltraTech after Rajputana Properties’ ₹ 6,930 crore offer was declared the highest, and filed with the Kolkata bench of the bankruptcy court for its approval.
Rajputana Properties had approached the apex court in July challenging the CoC’s decision to consider UltraTech’s revised proposal, which would entirely pay off all secured and unsecured financial creditors, as well as operational creditors. The court referred the matter to NCLAT.
In its order, NCLAT had said that the resolution process under IBC should consider the interests of even those creditors, who are not part of the resolution process, such as operational creditors, while also maintaining the ability of the target company in continuing as a going concern.