“Resolution applicant’s amount to remain the same. Only inter-se allocation to be reconsidered. Following ruling in Essar Steel Ltd, expect gestures from committee of creditors (CoC). But cannot substitute their wisdom," the Mumbai bench of the tribunal said.
The tribunal’s detailed order is awaited.
In its order, the tribunal asked DHFL’s CoC to consider giving more money to small fixed deposit holders under the resolution plan.
NCLT on Monday also ruled on National Housing Bank’s (NHB’s) exposure of ₹2,350 crore in DHFL in which it directed CoC to consider repaying NHB the full amount from the ongoing resolution process on a preferential basis.
The Piramal Group has offered ₹37,250 crore to DHFL’s creditors. This includes ₹12,700 crore in upfront cash, ₹3,000 crore in interest income on DHFL’s books and non-convertible debentures worth ₹19,550 crore to be repaid over 10 years. While the group has bid for both the retail and wholesale business of DHFL, it is keen on the retail portfolio.
Going forward, Piramal Capital will decide on whether to absorb DHFL’s wholesale book, divest it or hive into a separate division.
“We are committed to collaborating with all relevant authorities, regulators, creditors and investors involved in this resolution and look forward to a speedy culmination of the resolution process," said Piramal Group in a statement post the court’s verdict.
Piramal Capital had received approvals from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Reserve Bank for its bid to take over DHFL. Its resolution plan had received 94% votes from DHFL’s creditors.
The takeover plan, however, hit a bottleneck in May after Wadhawan filed a case in NCLT asking lenders to consider his offer to fully settle DHFL’s dues worth ₹91,000 crore, including ₹43,000 crore in the initial few years. NCLT subsequently passed an order asking DHFL’s administrator to place Wadhawan’s offer before CoC. It also asked CoC to meet in 10 days to consider the proposal.
Reacting to this appeal, CoC—led by Union Bank of India—and the RBI-appointed administrator filed separate applications in the National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) challenging NCLT’s order. In its appeal, the administrator termed the NCLT order as “illegal and in breach of settled provision of law". India’s insolvency law prohibits the promoter or management of any bankrupt company from attempting to re-acquire it.
Late last month, NCLAT stayed NCLT’s order that directed the lenders to consider Wadhawan’s offer. This led Wadhawan to move the Supreme Court to challenge NCLAT’s decision.
Wadhawan, who is facing charges of money laundering and diversion of bank funds, has repeatedly accused DHFL’s lenders of selling the company much below its fair value. Last November, Wadhawan requested an RBI-appointed DHFL administrator to be included in the bidding process, but the lenders chose to go for Piramal, which emerged as the highest bidder.
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