5 April 2019: Lenders to Adhunik Metaliks have issued shares and debentures worth Rs 40 crore to Liberty House as a first step for the UK-based company to take control of its first-ever asset in India after protracted litigation.
The company’s monitoring committee has approved issuing 20 million equity shares of Rs 10 each and 20 million compulsory convertible debentures (CCDs) of Rs 10 each in line with the resolution plan approved by the NCLT, Kolkata bench on July 17, 2018, Adhunik Metaliks told the BSE.
The move comes after an NCLAT order last month refused to recognise a Rs 108-crore outstanding claim by MSTC, an operational creditor to Adhunik, as the “resolution process cost”.
The claim was the reason behind Liberty House’s refusal to pay the Rs 410-crore it had offered for Adhunik even after the plan was approved in July last year.
It had argued that it was not liable to pay the amount as part of the resolution plan.
With MSTC’s claim set aside, the same NCLAT order has given LHG time until April 14 to pay the entire upfront amount of Rs 410 crore it offered for Adhunik.
The next step will likely be the de-listing of the company, said a person aware of the development.
Sanjeev Gupta-led Liberty House has in the past few years acquired several distressed assets in Europe, UK and Australia. But in India, it has taken long to succeed in an acquisition.
Eyeing the bankruptcy code as an opportunity to grab a foothold in India, Gupta had put in bids for many assets — Amtek Auto and its subsidiaries Castex and ARGL, ABG Shipyard, Bhushan Power and Steel and Adhunik Metaliks.
While in ABG Shipyard and BPSL, its bids fell short of making the cut, its refusal to pay the promised sum of money for Amtek Auto and its subsidiaries citing issues in the valuation of the businesses had been viewed with scepticism by lenders.
The bankruptcy court in Chandigarh found its approach “casual” and has ordered re-bids for these companies.
Adhunik Metaliks will be one of the first few cases in India under the IBC where the acquirer will revive a closed unit. It owes Rs 5,371 crore to lenders, who are taking a haircut of almost 92 per cent by accepting Liberty House’s offer.