NCLT asks Bhushan Steel creditors to consider Liberty House bid
NCLT says Liberty House’s bid for Bhushan Steel cannot be disqualified only on the ground of being submitted after the deadline
New Delhi: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday asked the lenders of Bhushan Power & Steel, led by Punjab National Bank (PNB), to consider the bid submitted by UK-based Liberty House for the debt-ridden company.
Allowing the plea of Liberty House, the tribunal has directed the committee of creditors (CoC) to complete its resolution proceedings by 23 June. A two-member NCLT bench, headed by President Justice M.M. Kumar, said that Liberty House bid cannot be disqualified only on the ground of being submitted after the deadline of the resolution professional (RP).
“We hope that CoC takes an appropriate commercial decision as per the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC),” said NCLT. The tribunal’s order came over a petition filed by Liberty House, challenging the rejection of its bid by the RP for Bhushan Power and Steel on account of late submission.
Welcoming the order, a Liberty House spokesperson said, “The judgement came out today. The NCLT has given the judgement in our favour saying that our bid should be considered for such a good asset. We are really grateful to the court...”
The CoC had in February rejected Liberty House’s bid to acquire Bhushan Power and Steel, leaving Tata Steel and JSW Steel in the race for taking over the assets of the bankrupt firm. Liberty House had moved the NCLT on 26 February against the rejection.
Liberty House had submitted before the NCLT that RP rejected its bid to acquire Bhushan Power and Steel without even opening the seal of its offer. An official with JSW Steel refused to comment on the development but said the company at present is focusing on Essar Steel.
Tata Steel spokesperson also declined to comment. Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd was among the 12 non-performing assets the Reserve Bank had referred for insolvency proceedings in June last year. The company owes about Rs45,000 crore to its lenders.