ArcelorMittal on Tuesday said it never had management control either in Uttam Galva Steels or KSS Petron, or any board representation. It was just a passive shareholder in both the companies. Appearing on behalf of the company, senior counsel Harish Salve told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that ArcelorMittal was not a shareholder either in Uttam Galva or in KSS Petron prior to putting its bid for Essar Steel (ESIL) on February 12.
The company, he said, did not have shares in Uttam Galva as on February 7 and in KSS Petron as on February 9. Salve said AreclorMittal never required a permission from the market regulator Sebi to submit the bid. To a question from the two-member NCLAT bench, headed by Justice SJ Mukhopadhyay, Salve said the company put in Rs 7,000 crore on the escrow account on the direction of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which said, “If you pay, you are off the hook.”
Numetal had earlier alleged that ArcelorMittal, as a promoter for two defaulting firms — UttamGalva and KSS Petron — was not eligible to bid for ESIL under Section 29 (A) (c) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Doubting the Russian lenders’ intention to form a company with 40% holding and take part in the bidding process of an Indian company, Salve said, “Banks do not come and take over a company. Why would they come and invest in a sick company?”