JSW Steel on Monday told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that Tata Steel does not have any right to raise questions over its revising the offer for bankrupt Bhushan Power and Steel after being given the opportunity by the committee of creditors (CoC).
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of JSW Steel, said: “Tatas can’t ask why I (JSW Steel) was given the opportunity. It’s a financial bid and I can improve it. Until voting on bids happens, the door is not closed.”
The two-member NCLAT bench, headed by chairperson Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya, has scheduled the matter for further hearing on December 20.
In the past hearing on the matter in the appellate tribunal, Tata Steel alleged that the lenders had given JSW Steel undue chance to revise its bid after initially declaring Tata Steel as the highest bidder. It also expressed doubt “with the quality of the process” followed to identify the most preferred bidder subsequently.
On Monday, Sibal also said Tata Steel should not come before the NCLAT till the CoC approves a bid or the other as “it is against the statute”. He said the aim of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is maximisation of value as has been shown by the appellate tribunal in the Binani Cement case.
Lenders had on July 31 selected Tata Steel as the H1 bidder and JSW Steel as the H2 bidder for BPSL. This was done at the instance of the appellate tribunal, which on July 20 had asked the CoC to select the H1 and H2 bidders. However, on July 27, the CoC allowed JSW Steel to submit a revised bid for the steelmaker. Tata Steel challenged the CoC’s decision in the NCLAT on July 30.
On August 6, the NCLAT had again allowed submission of revised bids by all three bidders, including UK-based Liberty House. Following this, on August 14, JSW Steel raced past Tata Steel to emerge as the most preferred bidder for BPSL which has around 3 million tonne per annum steel-making capacity.
Sources said JSW Steel has offered to pay Rs 19,350 crore to financial creditors of the debt-ridden company.
Apart from this, the company has offered to pay Rs 350 crore to operational creditors against their admitted claims of Rs 700 crore. Tata Steel’s total bid is of Rs 17,000 crore.
Source: United News of India, December 3, 2018