The committee of creditors (CoC) of Dighi Port on Thursday approved the resolution plan given by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), which is giving Rs 650 crore to the financial creditors, a 78% haircut for them. The Maharashtra-based port operator owes Rs 3,074 crore to its financial creditors.
The CoC’s counsel Gourab Banerji told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that the resolution plan was approved by 99.68% of the members. The appellate tribunal’s approval to the resolution plan is expected at the next hearing scheduled for October 17. In February, the Bank of India-led CoC had approved Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s (JNPT) Rs 853-crore bid for the debt-laden company. NCLT Mumbai had also declared JNPT as the successful resolution applicant in May 2019. But the state-owned company withdrew its offer due to certain modifications suggested by the tribunal.
Dighi Port had received three resolution plans from JNPT, APSEZ and Veritas Consortium in December 2018 for revival of the port. APSEZ, the country’s biggest private port operator, had challenged the rejection of its bid at the NCLAT.
On July 24, the NCLAT had allowed Dighi port promoter Balaji Infra Projects to discuss and mutually settle the lenders’ dues to bring the company out of insolvency proceedings.
Meanwhile, the NCLAT has asked the CoC and the resolution professional to file an affidavit giving comparative analysis between the promoter’s offer and Adani’s bid.
Dighi Port was dragged into insolvency proceedings by an operational creditor — DBM Geotechnics and Construction — for defaulting on Rs 30 crore of payment. The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had admitted the insolvency plea in March 2018.
Adani had argued that their plan should be considered since JNPT is out of the race now. JNPT’s resolution plan proposed to pay Rs 651 crore to a clutch of 18 financial creditors, invest a further Rs 191 crore as equity to improve the operations of Dighi port, and pay Rs 11.4 crore to Maharashtra Maritime Board.