A worker carries a sack of cement under a conveyor in a warehouse at a Pooja Group Of Glass Industries factory in Ferozabad, Uttar Pradesh, India (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)  

Dalmia Bharat Says Supreme Court Should Not Go Against Insolvency Code In Binani Case 

The Supreme Court will hear Binani Industries Ltd.’s plea seeking termination of the insolvency case against its cement unit on April 13.

Binani Industries moved the apex court with an appeal to redeem the pledge of its assets in debt-ridden subsidiary Binani Cements Ltd. from its lenders. Redeeming the pledge will mean seeking an end to the bankruptcy proceedings against it from the National Company Law Tribunal.

The company will submit 10 percent of the offer to prove its commitment, a Binani Group spokesperson told PTI on Sunday. "We have an assurance of support from most of the lenders for this move,” the official added.

Bharat Dalmia Ltd., which had emerged as the highest bidder for Binani Cement, said an out-of-court settlement, while a company undergoes bankruptcy proceedings, will set a bad precedent. “The Supreme Court should not go against the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code,” Dalmia Bharat Group Chief Executive Officer Mahendra Singhi told reporters outside the Kolkata NCLT. Any order against the IBC will impact India’s "ease of doing business" rank, Singhi added.

Will defend our case in the Supreme Court on April 13.
Mahendra Singhi, Group CEO, Dalmia Bharat

The Kolkata NCLT today adjourned all hearings in the Binani matter till April 16.

Takeover Battle

Binani Cement’s Committee of Creditors, despite supporting the Rs 7,618 crore offer, declined to accept it due to lack of clarity in legal interpretation in several rounds of the meeting held both yesterday and today. The Binani group had sought lenders’ support on whether it should move the apex court or not.

Lenders, part of the Committee of Creditors, desired that there was no problem in the offer unless a higher adjudicating authority permits it. Binani, backed by Aditya Birla group's UltraTech Cement Ltd., has already received comfort letter for financial support.

Binani has agreed to pay the interest till date since the insolvency proceedings started. From the day NCLT initiated insolvency proceedings, the interest on dues are not charged.

UltraTech Cement agreed with Binani Industries to buy 98.43 percent stake in Binani Cements. Operational creditors are supporting the UltraTech-backed Binani offer as it covers the entire claim.

Dalmia Bharat group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Rajputana Properties, had emerged as the highest bidder with an offer to pay Rs 6,350 crore for Binani Cements.

With inputs from PTI.