29 May 2019: The bankruptcy court has given Hotel Leelaventure six weeks before it would take up an insolvency petition against the hotel chain, and asked the markets regulator to complete its examination of the company’s asset-sale deal with Brookfield within that time.
BSE-listed Leelaventure had sought the National Company Law Tribunal more time before it starts hearing the petition filed by lender JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Company. The company said it had already initiated a process to sell assets to repay the debt, but the deal with the Canadian investor had been stalled after the Securities and Exchange Board of India asked it to hold off on it.
“The board of the company as well as majority shareholders have approved the asset sale to Brookfield. However, the deal is on hold by Sebi after ITC and LIC have objected to it,” Ashish Pyasi, an advocate at law firm Dhir & Dhir Associates who was appearing for Leelaventure, told the NCLT. “Sebi asked both parties to wait till it examines complaints against Leela and JM Financial by both ITC and Life Insurance Corporation of India. This will take substantial time and hence we are seeking an adjournment of four months,” he added.
However, the Mumbai bench of NCLT, presided over by VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy, Tuesday observed that the tribunal couldn’t allow that long a time and adjourned the case to July 8. The tribunal asked Sebi to complete its examination before the next date of hearing.
ITC, which held 7.92% in Leelaventure at end of March, approached the NCLT on April 22.