The National Company Law Tribunal held on Friday that any resolution passed by Reliance Infratel’s committee of creditors (CoC) is subject to the tribunal’s decision on Doha Bank’s petition. Doha Bank was against the admission of bankers’ claims based on invoked corporate guarantees issued by RITL in favour of Reliance Communications.
The two-member Mumbai Bench adjourned the hearing on the matter to June 21. The tribunal has also given State Bank of India, which is a respondent to Doha Bank’s petition, seven days to respond and petitioner Doha Bank another three days to file a rejoinder. SBI is a respondent because its claims are based on direct lending and also through invoked corporate guarantees.
The counsel of Doha Bank mentioned that other banks with similar direct exposure to Reliance Infratel are expected to file similar petitions in coming days, including Emirates NBD, ICBC and a Russian Bank, understood to be VTB Capital.
On Thursday, the counsel representing Doha Bank and referring to three other direct lenders as being a ‘syndicate of direct lenders to RITL’, alleged that the IRP’s decision to admit claims of `8,000 crore – based on bankers invoking corporate guarantees issued by Reliance Infratel to help secure loans for Reliance Communications – diluted the voting share of direct lenders to RITL within the CoC.
The counsel had alleged that the direct lenders’ syndicate had lent RITL around `1,400 crore, while State Bank of India’s direct exposure stood at `900 crore and the exposure of operational creditors was at `300 crore.
However, the counsel claimed that the total debt got pushed up with addition of claims based on corporate guarantees, and that also diluted the total voting share of the ‘syndicate’ to 15% from 45%.
The actual admitted claims for RITL, as per documents uploaded on the website, stood at `9,665.07 crore.
According to the counsel to Doha Bank, items on the agenda of the Reliance Infratel CoC included taking note of the constitution of CoC and the appointment of an RP in accordance with Section 22 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.