Wednesday, April 21

Under IBC, 378 companies owing Rs 2.5 lakh crore sent for liquidation

NEW DELHI: As many as 378 companies with total creditor claims of Rs 2,57,642 crore have so far been sent into liquidation under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code till March 31, 2019, latest data from the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) showed.

Of these, 64 companies, or more than 16%, had received bids higher than the liquidation value of the assets, but lenders rejected them— not being comfortable with the deferred payments offered by the bidders.

These included Lanco Infratech, Nicco Corp, Bharati Defence and Loha Ispaat.

Liquidation value is the estimated realisable value of the assets of a corporate debtor if it is liquidated at the beginning of the insolvency proceeding. Based on the liquidation value, creditors to the companies sent into liquidation would on an average recover only 7.1% of their admitted claims.

IBBI data also showed that in the 88 cases of successful resolutions under the bankruptcy law since it came to effect in December 2016, operational creditors and financial creditors recovered about 48% of their claims.

On those 64 companies that have gone into liquidation even after getting bids higher than the liquidation value, experts said creditors had rejected those offers because of the uncertainty around deferred payments.

“In cases of deferred payment plans, the viability is questionable as most of these plans contemplate making payments to lenders through the cash generated from the company,” said the head of PwC’s restructuring services, Mahender Khandelwal.

Experts also said such decisions by the committees of creditors, controlled mostly by financial creditors, were likely to hurt operational creditors.

“In case of resolution plans, the applicants make provisions for operational creditors too so that the business can be revived. In liquidation of an operating company, the biggest losers remain the operational creditors as their claims are much lower in the hierarchy,” said Manoj Kumar, partner and head of M&A, insolvency and transaction advisory team at Corporate Professionals. Such instances could push operational creditors who have a much lower capacity to absorb haircuts than banks into a downward spiral, he added.

In case of liquidation, dues of secured creditors and workmen are to be fully paid off before operational creditors, who are usually unsecured, are entitled to any payment.

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