14 March 2019: The National Company Law Apellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has adjourned hearing on the Essar Steel case till March 15, asking the promoters to clear all the group’s dues as per the Supreme Court’s order and then come back to it.
The development comes after Essar Steel MD Prashant Ruia and Essar Group executives, as well as the Standard Chartered Bank, filed a fresh petition before the NCLAT on Monday, seeking to set aside the ArcelorMittal’s winning bid approved by the National Company Law Tribunal’s Ahmedabad bench.
Essar Steel’s debt stands at Rs 49,000 crore while that of its former parent, Essar Group, adds up to over Rs 80,000 crore.
The tribunal on Thursday told the the petitioners to clear the whole of Essar Group’s dues first and then come with a resolution plan for Essar Steel. Essar promoters’ counsel sought a week’s time for this.
The bench also asked ArcelorMittal to raise its bid for Essar Steel as the promoters of the insolvent company have proposed a resolution plan with a higher bid.
The ArcelorMittal’s resolution plan which was approved by the Ahmedabad-bench of NCLT had a bid of Rs 42,000 crore, compared to Ruias’ bid of Rs 54,389 crore.
The plan, approved by the NCLT, sought various exemptions such as stamp duty, fees, transfer charges, and so on. The NCLT held that it is not in a position to grant these exemptions and that the resolution applicant will have to make appropriate submissions to the respective departments of the government.
The NCLT provided a time frame of one year to ArcelorMittal to obtain various approvals and exemptions.
In a related development, official sources have told IANS that the Corporate Affairs Ministry is ready to order a change in the management of the insolvent steel maker.
Sources said the MCA is waiting for the written order from the NCLT after which it would approve and order a management change in Essar Steel.