The sole resolution plan for the bankrupt Monnet Ispat and Energy from the JSW Steel-Aion Investments combine was finally accepted by the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday with certain modifications, exactly a year after the steelmaker was admitted for insolvency proceedings. The financial creditors of Monnet Ispat have claimed dues of Rs 11,573 crore as on April 7, 2018, while the NCLT has admitted claims of around Rs 11,014 crore. As per the resolution plan, the lenders are likely to receive Rs 2,457 crore, which translates into a haircut of about 77.69% for the lenders.
Apart from State Bank of India, which is the lead bank, some of the other lenders to the company include Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. In addition to the upfront payment of Rs 2,457 crore to the lenders, the resolution plan is believed to provide for another Rs 219 crore through optionally convertible preferential shares and an additional Rs 212 crore through fresh equity of 12.5%. Monnet Ispat is the third company from the Reserve Bank of India’s first list of corporate debtors to have been resolved under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) after Bhushan Steel and Electrosteel Steels. The NCLT bench ruled that “mines will not be included in the resolution plan”. Earlier too, the bench had questioned the inclusion of the Gare Palma coal mine in Chhattisgarh as an asset of the company in the resolution plan.
The government had cancelled the company’s licence for the Gare Palma mine last December. Earlier this year, the Mumbai bench of the NCLT had dismissed a petition by Monnet Ispat’s resolution professional (RP) against the ministry of coal for issuing a termination notice of the Gare Palma mine. The bench also asked the legal counsel of the resolution applicant to file an undertaking stating that no shareholder of the company will cease to be a shareholder on account of the consolidation provision in the resolution plan, before it accepted the resolution plan.
In the previous hearings, the bench had asked for clarity on the method followed for arriving at the liquidation value as well as on payment of dues to unsecured financial creditors who have dissented. It had also questioned if enough has been done to recover the loans advanced by Monnet Ispat to its subsidiaries, associates, and other companies including Monnet Power and Monnet Global. According to details shared at the tribunal, total loans given by Monnet Ispat to subsidiaries, associates and other companies stand at Rs 935 crore. “The resolution plan (amended and supplemented) submitted by the consortium of JSW Steel and AION Investments and approved by the committee of creditors of Monnet Ispat was approved with modifications at Thursday’s hearing by the NCLT. The written order of the NCLT is awaited,” JSW Steel said in a statement.
Sources close to development said about half of Monnet Ispat’s total capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum is complete, and work on building the remaining capacity is unfinished. The first priority of JSW Steel would be to restart the existing plants that had ceased to be operational, and the second priority would be to finish building the remaining half of the planned capacity. The liquidation value of the company is likely to have been pegged at Rs 2,365 crore, while the total admitted dues of the operational creditors stands at Rs 440 crore. The committee of creditors of Monnet Ispat approved the resolution plan by a 98.97% vote in April. The insolvency resolution process for Monnet Ispat began on July 18, 2017, under the provision of the IBC. Sumit Binani was appointed as the RP.
Apart from its 1.5-mtpa integrated steel plant, Monnet Ispat has associated facilities including sponge iron plant, pellet plant, sinter plant and a captive power plant in Chhattisgarh. It also owns coal beneficiation facilities in Chhattisgarh and Odisha. The company was one of the top 12 accounts to be referred to the NCLT last year. For FY17, the company reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 2,129 crore on net sales of Rs 1,238 crore, according to data from Bloomberg. JSW Steel is one of India’s leading steelmakers with a total capacity of 18 mtpa. It has plants in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. JSW Steel has also joined hands with Numetal to bid for Essar Steel.