A worker passes red hot furnace in the steel making shop at a steel plant. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

NCLT Puts Bhushan Power & Steel’s Insolvency Resolution On Hold For Now

The National Company Law Tribunal has directed lenders of insolvency-hit Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd. to not finalise the sale of its assets till a plea from the U.K.-based Liberty House for considering its bid is heard.

The NCLT will hear Liberty House’s plea tomorrow, Bloomberg News reported. The tribunal has also put on hold Bhushan Power lenders’ meeting which was supposed to be held tomorrow.

The delay in finalisation of the Delhi-based steelmaker's asset sale comes after Liberty House moved the NCLT after its bid was rejected by the committee of creditors because it was submitted after the deadline passed.

Liberty House argued that its bid was submitted before the lenders had opened other bids. That, according to the company, should've put them in contention too. "The creditors wanted to open our bid as they know its higher but lawyers stopped them," the company said in an emailed statement in February before approaching the NCLT.

Bhushan Power & Steel owes more than Rs 47,000 crore to lenders, according to information on its website. The company is one of the largest 12 stressed accounts identified by the the Reserve Bank of India for resolution under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. At the close of deadline, Tata Steel Ltd. and JSW Steel Ltd. were the only ones who had submitted resolution plans.

At the moment, Tata Steel Ltd. is the frontrunner for Bhushan Power & Steel with its Rs 24,500 crore offer compared with JSW Steel Ltd.’s Rs 13,000 crore, BloombergQuint reported earlier. Liberty House, in its prior statement, had claimed that its bid was higher than other competing bids.

Apart from Bhushan Power & Steel, Liberty House has also bid for Amtek Auto’s assets under the insolvency process.