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An appellate tribunal has admitted the petition by former Videocon group Chairman and Managing Director Venugopal Dhoot, challenging the approval to takeover bid by Anil Agarwal's Twin Star Technologies for its 13 group companies.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has issued notices to the resolution professional, lenders and Twin Star Technologies directing them to submit their replies by September 17.

Also Read: Inside Videocon’s epic insolvency saga

“We have considered the submissions of various parties. We admit the appeal and the respondents are directed to file their reply by September 15, 2021 and, thereafter, the rejoinder, if any, be filed by September 17, 2021," said the NCLAT.

A two-member bench comprising Justice J K Jain and A K Mishra has listed the matter for hearing on September 20, 2021.

On June 9, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had approved 2,962-crore takeover bid by Twin Star Technologies for the 13 companies of the embattled Videocon group.

However, the NCLT order was stayed by the NCLAT on July 19 over the petitions filed by two dissatisfied creditors of the Videocon Group - Bank of Maharashtra and IFCI Ltd. The appellate tribunal had directed to maintain “status quo ante".

Earlier this week, on September 7, the NCLAT has extended the stay till September 20, the next date of hearing in the issue.

Dhoot, in his plea filed before the NCLAT, had requested to set aside the order passed by the Mumbai bench of the NCLT and instead direct the lenders to consider 31,789 crore settlement plan submitted by him under section 12 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

In the petition, Dhoot has questioned the role played by the Resolution Professional. The former Videocon promoter said that he should have mentioned the foreign oil and gas assets of Videocon Group in the information memorandum (Tender Form) for all bidders to consider.

Dhoot had also requested NCLT's order approving Twin Star Technologies' resolution plan to be cancelled and a fresh resolution plan to be considered with Oil and Consumer Durable assets.

During the hearing, which took place on September 10, all parties opposed Dhoot’s claims.

“Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Senior Counsel for Resolution Applicant (Twin Star), has stated the Appellant (Dhoot) drove the company to zero and whose proposal under 12A of the Code was rejected by a very high majority of CoC. Their proposal was for repayment in 15-20 years," the NCLAT order said.

While the CoC stated that Twin Star’s proposal was approved with 95 per cent majority and said few financial creditors and the guarantors and shareholders are approaching for nullifying the approved Resolution Plan.

Under Section 12A of the IBC, the tribunal can permit withdrawal of an ongoing insolvency process against a company subject to certain conditions. Such application is filed by the company with the approval of 90 per cent voting share of the committee of creditors.

Videocon Industries and its 12 group companies had a total admitted claims of 64,838.63 crore.

Earlier, In its 47-page-long judgement, NCLT while approving Twin Star Technologies' 2,962.02 crore-bid had observed creditors of debt-ridden Videocon Industries Ltd will be taking nearly 96 per cent haircut on their loans and the bidder is "paying almost nothing".

The NCLT had observed that the resolution plan is giving 99.28 per cent to the operational creditors, which it sarcastically hinted to be as a "Hair cut or Tonsure, Total Shave".

(With PTI inputs)

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