Essar Steel IBC verdict expected today; will ArcelorMittal’s fight be finally over?

By: | Updated: February 19, 2019 3:41 PM

The NCLT is expected to give its verdict on Tuesday in the high profile insolvency case of Essar Steel, in which ArcelorMittal emerged as the winning bidder with Rs 42,000-crore offer,

The NCLT was given time till February 19 to complete all hearing in the case.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is expected to give its verdict on Tuesday in the high profile insolvency and bankruptcy case (IBC) of Essar Steel, in which ArcelorMittal emerged as the winning bidder with Rs 42,000-crore offer, a source told Financial Express Online.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) will likely take up the matter next, to give a hearing to those objecting to ArcelorMittal’s winning bid. The ruling on the resolution plan involving Rs 42,000 crore bid by ArcelorMittal was last expected on February 11 but the deadline for completing the hearing was extended till February 19.

Earlier, the Committee of Creditors (CoC) had voted in favour of bid by Lakshmi Niwas Mittal’s  ArcelorMittal before original promoters Ruias made their Rs 54,000 crore bid for the company’s control. The bid by Ruia family to take back control of Essar Steel has already been rejected by the NCLT.

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Meanwhile, operational creditors’ plea to the Supreme Court seeking a hearing ahead of NCLT verdict was also rejected by the apex court. Operational creditors had moved Supreme Court requesting a jury for their case citing principles of natural justice.

Essar Steel’s case holds importance as it is one of the 12 large cases admitted early on under the country’s newly-formed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The company had declared bankruptcy in 2015 after failing to repay debts worth about Rs 54,000 crore, and facing allegations of fraud. The company, which was promoted by the Ruia family, got involved in insolvency proceedings in August of 2017.

Several bidders tried to wrest control of the debt-ridden company including ArcelorMittal, JSW Steel Ltd and Numetal, and also reportedly Vedanta Group. But ArcelorMittal emerged the winner after various rounds of bidding.

However, even after ArcelorMittal’s winning bid getting approved by the CoC, the resolution of the case has taken many twists and turns, with the original promoters — Ruias, and several operational creditors making claims and raising objections at various judicial platforms against going ahead with the ArcelorMittal bid.

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