10 June 2019: A majority of Jaypee Infratech’s lenders have voted against NBCC’s bid but most home buyers wanted the state-owned company to takeover the debt-laden realty firm, sources said.
The development comes hours after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) clarified that it has not barred lenders from voting against NBCC’s resolution plan. While the exact percentage of votes in favour and against the NBCC’s takeover plan was not disclosed due to an insolvency court order, sources said the bid possibly has not mustered the requisite nod of two-third of lenders and buyers.
The voting result is to be placed before the NCLAT. In most bankruptcy proceedings, lenders have the right to vote for or against a resolution plan for a debt-laden firm. In the case of realty firms, home buyers also have voting rights at par with lenders. As many as 13 banks and over 23,000 homebuyers have voting rights in the Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Jaypee Infratech. Homebuyers represent nearly 60 per cent of voting rights, while banks have the rest. For approval of any resolution plan, at least 66 per cent votes should be in favour.
Earlier on Monday, the NCLAT clarified that it has not barred lenders from voting against NBCC’s resolution plan. Bankers had reservation with the NBCC’s bid because of certain concession sought by the state-owned firm related to future tax liabilities and approval from development authority YEIDA for transfer of land and Yamuna Expressway.
Hearing a batch of applications filed by banks seeking permission to vote against NBCC bid, the NCLAT said, “We have not said do not vote against. We have said the CoC may not file final report on the decision, if it is rejected”. The NCLAT also directed Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) Anuj Jain to report the outcome of voting process directly to it. This is the second round of bidding process to revive Jaypee Infratech, which went into insolvency in August 2017 after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an application filed by an IDBI Bank-led consortium.
In the first round of insolvency proceedings conducted last year, the Rs 7,350-crore bid of Lakshdeep, part of Suraksha Group, was rejected by lenders. Later in October 2018, the IRP started the second round of bidding process. Last month, the CoC rejected Suraksha Realty’s bid. On May 30, the CoC decided to put on vote NBCC’s bid even as bankers had reservations against the proposal. The voting process, which started on May 31, concluded on Monday.
Last week, lenders filed a petition before the NCLAT to allow them to vote against NBCC’s bid in an ongoing insolvency process. A three-member bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya directed that the voting process should be completed. “As the voting is on and is likely to be completed today by five pm. We are not inclined to pass any order,” said NCLAT in its order Monday.
During the proceedings, senior advocate Salman Khurshid, who was representing the lenders, informed NCLAT about the conditions put by the NBCC in the resolution plan. In their plea, lenders sought that secured financial creditors should be permitted to vote against NBCC’s resolution plan or bid. They also pleaded that the IRP and the CoC should be allowed to explore other alternatives such as inviting fresh expression of interest and considering bids that already have been submitted by other companies.
Adani group recently made an unsolicited and non-binding bid to acquire Jaypee Infratech. Without taking the name of Adani group, the NCLAT said that NBCC was a government company and wanted to know about the experience of the private firm. During the hearing, the appellate tribunal clarified that votes of the absentees would not be counted in the total voting percentage.
“We make it clear that if any of the financial creditors remain absent in voting, their voting percentage shall not be counted for the purpose of counting voting share in terms of decision already passed by this appellate tribunal,” it said. Further, it directed the IRP to report about the outcome of the order directly to it instead of Allahabad bench of the NCLT, which is supervising insolvency resolution process of Jaypee Infratech.
The NCLAT has also advanced the date of next hearing to July 2 from July 17. During the proceedings, NCLAT told the lenders that the process must go on as stake of 23,000 flat buyers are concerned. The appellate tribunal told bankers that Jaypee Infratech is not the owner of the land and has taken it on on lease from the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA). “We want a resolution. Some how it should come,” NCLAT observed.