The Kolkata bench of the National Company Law Tribunal on Monday reiterated that bankers to Binani Cement should consider an out-of-tribunal settlement in response to a plea from the company’s promoters, within the deadline of April 9.
The Kolkata bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday reiterated that bankers to Binani Cement should consider an out-of-tribunal settlement in response to a plea from the company’s promoters, within the deadline of April 9. The committee of creditors (CoC) had sought more time to resolve the issue as it received the NCLT’s order dated March 27, late.
The NCLT’s willingness to permit an out-of-court settlement and allow the lenders to explore fresh solutions — after Dalmia Bharat was declared the highest bidder — is of significance given the IBC (insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) is in its early days.
“In the larger interest of all the stakeholders, possibility of having a harmonious settlement is to be considered… parties are free to consider it out of tribunal,” the bench had said in its order dated March 27.
Binani Industries, promoters of Binani Cement, had on March 27, offered to pay off all the dues of the financial and operational creditors of Binani Cement within two weeks. This followed a proposal by UltraTech Cement which agreed to buy out the majority stake of 98.47% in the cement manufacturer for `7,266 crore. The Kolkata bench of NCLT had said: “Talk of settlement, if any, is at the liberty of the CoC. The time is granted.” UltraTech had offered a letter of comfort to Binani Industries and said that its offer to buy Binani Cement is subject to the termination of the insolvency proceedings in the NCLT.
A division bench, comprising justices Jinan KR and Madan Balachandra Gosavi, said on Monday, the case would be heard next on April 9; it refused the creditors any extra time to form an opinion on the matter.
Pratap Chatterjee, representing the CoC of the debt-laden cement maker, said on Monday Binani Industries’ proposal could not be reviewed as the tribunal’s order had not been available due to tribunal holidays. He also said the offer with the creditors lacked some details and that it did not mention the exact amounts each creditor would receive.
Binani Industries’ counsel Ratnanko Banerjee, however, contested Chatterjee’s statement that the proposal was “incomplete”.