Binani Cement deal: SC won't intervene 'for now' in Dalmia-UltraTech tussle

Binani Cement deal: SC won't intervene 'for now' in Dalmia-UltraTech tussle

The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside a civil appeal by conglomerate Dalmia Bharat Ltd which had sought a stay on a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order that allowed bankrupt Binani Cement Ltd to consider a bid from UltraTech Cement Ltd.

Later, the Aditya Birla company offered to provide a line of credit to Binani Cement's parent - Binani Industries - in return of a majority stake in the distressed company.

UltraTech's significantly higher offer has, in recent weeks, forced some of Binani Cement's creditors to backtrack on their earlier vote in favour of Dalmia Bharat's resolution plan.

Rajputana quickly moved to the Supreme Court on May 8 just before the creditors meeting which is supposed to be (or was supposed to be) held today. Dalmia Bharat claims that mere disassociation with Binani Industries will not cure Ultratech of its disqualification.

Noting that the case is now pending before the NCLAT, the Apex court refused to interfere at this stage and has remitted the case back while asking NCLAT to hear the case on a daily basis from May 22, 2018.

The RP had erroneously verified dues as INR 460 crore, of which Dalmia Bharat had offered to pay only INR 151 crore in their resolution plan, one of the operational creditors said.

Binani Cement has been undergoing insolvency proceedings initiated by NCLT since July a year ago.

"I have received objections from Rajputana Properties (the subsidiary firm of Dalmia Bharat) in relation to eligibility of UltraTech Cement under Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, to be a resolution applicant of Binani Cement ("corporate debtor")", RP Vijaykumar Iyer reportedly said in a letter to the members of the CoC on Wednesday evening.

Within a months' time, the UltraTech-Binani case has entered the Supreme Court twice.

Before the SC verdict, UltraTech revised its bid upward to Rs 7,960 crore, which is about Rs 1,000 crore higher than Dalmia's offer of Rs 6,590 crore.

The appeal also requests the apex court to direct both the lenders and the NCLT Kolkata bench to not proceed with any other resolution plan, including the revised plan of Ultra-Tech, until the appeal is pending. It had also obtained CCI's approval for its bid to acquire Binani Cement. The two companies have been in a deadlock for the takeover of Binani Cement ever since. This was approved in NCLT's abovementioned May 2 order.

"We are perplexed at Dalmia's move", said a source close to Binani Cement. The plea is likely to be listed for hearing on Thursday with lenders also planning to meet on the same day to discuss UltraTech's revised bid.

In the latest twist to Binani Cement Ltd's takeover proceedings, the Kolkata.

Earlier this month, the Kolkata bench of National Company Law Tribunal asked the committee of creditors to consider the revised bid of UltraTech, which may be accepted today.

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