The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) will on Friday deliver its order on the eligibility of ArcelorMittal and Numetal, the two key contenders, for bankrupt Essar Steel. Both the firms had moved the appellate tribunal challenging their disqualification in the first round of bids by the resolution professional.
ArcelorMittal’s first bid for Essar Steel was disqualified by the RP on the ground that it was a promoter of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron, both of which have defaulted on loans. Numetal’s bid was disqualified since one of the persons associated with the firm, Rewant Ruia, is related to the promoters of Essar Steel.
Subsequently, both the companies put in bids in the second round. VTB Bank sought to sever ties with the Ruia family by buying out Aurora Trusts stake in Numetal, while ArcelorMittal transferred Rs 7,000 crore to an escrow account of SBI to clear outstanding loans of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron. In the second round of bidding, Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources also joined the race and JSW Steel joined Numetal for the bid.
ArcelorMittal is understood to have made an upfront offer of Rs 30,500 crore and pledged another Rs 8,000 crore in the form of capital infusion into Essar Steel. Numetal has enhanced its bid amount to Rs 37,000 crore in the seocnd round. Essar Steel owes financial creditors close to Rs 50,000 crore.
The two firms challenged their disqualification before the Ahmedabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which said that inviting second round of bids without offering bidders an opportunity to rectify their first bids was “prima facie invalid” .
In the last hearing, held on July 18, ArcelorMittal said that it will pay Rs 7,000 crore dues of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron in case the appellate tribunal finds its first round of bid to be ineligible.