Tuesday, April 20

NCLT approves Royale Partners Investment’s bid for EPC Construction

MUMBAI: The bankruptcy court has approved a resolution plan submitted by Mauritius-based Royale Partners Investment Fund for EPC Construction India to revive the company that was previously known as Essar Projects India.

The foreign investor has offered to put in around Rs 900 crore to revive the company, which owed more than Rs 7,700 crore to its financial and operational creditors.

The company’s lenders had approved the plan earlier this year, with 73% of them based on the outstanding debt voting in favour of Royale Partners.

“Our next course of action is to appoint the monitoring committee comprising certain financial creditors, our representatives and the resolution professional,” Royal Partners managing director Mayur Ghule said in an emailed response to ET’s questions. “Thereafter we shall commence mobilisation of resources. We plan to aggressively bid for EPC contracts in India and in the international market.”

The NCLT had rejected ArcelorMittal India’s plea to set aside the resolution plan submitted by Royale Partners. This is the second Essar group company that ArcelorMittal had shown interest in acquiring. It has got the clearance to acquire Essar Steel.

Lender IDBI Bank had filed the insolvency resolution plea against the company in December 2017.

On Monday, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) ruled that the resolution plan should be binding on the corporate debtor and other stakeholders involved so that revival of the company would come into force with immediate effect. The moratorium imposed on the company’s payments will cease to have any effect henceforth, a bench comprising MK Shrawat and Chandra Bhan Singh said in an 80-page order.

“The RP (resolution professional) is directed to handover all records, premises, factories, documents to resolution applicant (Royale Partners) to finalise the further line of action required for starting of the operation,” the NCLT said.

RBSA Advisors had ascertained the fair market value of the assets to be Rs 1,379.88 crore and the liquidation value to be Rs 786 crore. Another firm, Rakesh Narula & Co, had calculated the values to be Rs 1,394.54 crore and Rs 891.96 crore, respectively.

“It is stated that the average of two liquidation values is less than the amount being received under the resolution plan. Hence, one of the justifications for approval of the resolution plan that the liquidation value is less compared to the resolution proposals made in the resolution plan is satisfied,” said the tribunal while approving the revival plan of RPIF.

Abhijit Guhathakurta, the resolution professional managing the company’s bankruptcy process, refused to comment since the process of resolution was still underway. Advocate Pulkit Sharma, who represented the RP in the case along with Prateek Mishra of L&L Partners, confirmed the development.

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