Suraksha ARC files expression of interest for Era Infra Engineering

By: | Published: December 28, 2018 2:21 AM

As on December 21, financial creditors had submitted claims worth Rs 14,835 crore to the company’s resolution professional.

As on December 21, financial creditors had submitted claims worth Rs 14,835 crore to the company’s RP, of which claims Rs 14,302 crore were admitted by the RP.

Suraksha Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) has filed an expression of interest (EoI) with the resolution professional (RP) of Era Infra Engineering to acquire the asset, according to people in the know of the development.

Era Infra was the last of the companies on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) first list of large non-performing assets (NPAs) to be admitted for proceedings under the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP). As on December 21, financial creditors had submitted claims worth Rs 14,835 crore to the company’s RP, of which claims Rs 14,302 crore were admitted by the RP.

As the lead bank in the lending consortium to Era Infra, Union Bank of India had moved the insolvency plea against it. Suraksha ARC’s EoI is understood to be the only one received for Era Infra so far. The value and other details of the bid could not be immediately ascertained.

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A banker aware of the bid by Suraksha said that pooling together the different special purpose vehicles (SPVs) through which the construction firm operates its projects will be an optimal solution. “We are trying to consolidate the different SPVs. If that can be done successfully, there is a good chance of getting 30-40% of the money back,” he said. Era has eight SPVs.

In October, FE had reported that the committee of creditors (CoC) for Era Infra has been considering merging the parent company and all its SPVs to make it more attractive for bidders. Such an arrangement would also eliminate the risk of the SPVs being individually taken to the NCLT by any other creditor.

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This plan, however, may face hurdles if other lenders to the project succeed in replacing Era Infra’s SPVs as concessionaires in some projects. Last week, State Bank of India (SBI) sought bids from interested players to replace Era-promoted Bareilly Highway Projects and Sibmost as the concessionaire for the four-laning of the Bareilly-Sitapur stretch of NH-24 in Uttar Pradesh. In September this year, Axis Bank had invited bids to replace another Era SPV, Haridwar Highways Project, as the concessionaire of an 80-km stretch along NH-58, extending from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh to Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

The banker quoted above said the legal process was likely to prevail over bilateral deals for substitution of the SPVs.

Emails sent to Suraksha ARC and Era Infra RP Rajiv Chakraborty, as well as a text message to Chakraborty, remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

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