New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday restrained Srei Infrastructure from transferring its controlling stake in Odisha Slurry Pipeline to Numetal Mauritius until 5 April, which is the next date of hearing.

Russia’s VTB Bank and Rewant Ruia of Essar Steel hold stakes in Numetal, which was one of the bidders in the race to buy debt-ridden Essar Steel.

A bench comprising justice Jayant Nath was hearing State Bank of India’s plea against Odisha Slurry pipeline, seeking a stay on any transaction. It was submitted that no such transfer of stake could happen without the prior approval of the lenders.

“ We will be approaching all the existing lenders of OSPIL for their consent for the proposed purchase in due course. We are confident that lenders will be happy to have us as the controlling shareholder after they have understood our proposal. In the event that they are not comfortable, we are prepared to assist the company in refinancing any dissenting lenders, in which case their consent will no longer be required", Numetal spokesperson said in an official statement.

The Economic Times reported on Monday that the pipeline delivers iron ore to Essar Steel’s Odisha plant and is crucial to its operations.

Essar Steel sold its stake in the 253-km slurry pipeline to Srei Infrastructure in 2015. However, the sale was stayed temporarily by the Calcutta high court after a consortium of lender banks to Essar Steel objected. The matter is pending for final disposal before the Calcutta high court.

Essar Steel is undergoing insolvency proceedings for recovery of more than Rs45,000 crore.

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