A Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. employee pours an oil sample into a beaker for analysis. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Patanjali Will Not Back Out From Race To Acquire Ruchi Soya, Says Acharya Balkrishna

Patanjali Ayurved will not back out from the race to acquire bankruptcy-bound Ruchi Soya and explore all options, including legal, to clinch the deal, its Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna said today.

Adani Wilmar, which sells cooking oil under the Fortune brand, and Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali are in the fray to acquire debt-ridden Ruchi Soya.

Adani has emerged as the highest bidder with an offer of about Rs 6,000 crore, while Patanjali's bid was worth around Rs 5,700 crore.

Also read: Adani Wilmar Pips Patanjali In Race For Ruchi Soya

After Adani Wilmar emerged as H1, Patanjali Ayurved sought clarification from the Resolution Professional of Ruchi Soya related to eligibility of Adani Group to participate in the bidding process. It also sought to know the parameters adopted by the RP to declare Adani Wilmar as the highest bidder.

The Haridwar-based firm has also questioned the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as the RP's legal advisor as the said law firm was already advising Adani Group. "We are waiting for the reply," Balkrishna said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi.

Asked whether the company would move court, he said: “We will not back out. We will do everything.”

Also read: Ruchi Soya’s Run Of Bad Luck And A Self-Inflicted Injury

Last week, sources had said the resolution professional sought 8-10 days’ time to reply to the clarification sought by Patanjali. The Ramdev-led company was asked to submit a revised bid by June 16 to match or better the highest offer of Rs 6,000 crore by Adani Wilmar under the Swiss Challenge system adopted by the resolution professional and the committee of creditors.

However, Patanjali wrote to the resolution professional seeking clarifications instead of submitting a fresh bid.

Under the Swiss Challenge method, Adani will get another chance to make an offer if Patanjali’s revised bid exceeds the offer made by the former.

Patanjali Ayurved already has a tie-up with the Indore-based Ruchi Soya for edible oil refining and packaging and it wants to further expand its cooking oil business.

Ruchi Soya, which is facing the insolvency proceedings, has a total debt of about Rs 12,000 crore. The company has many manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star and Ruchi Gold.

In December 2017, Ruchi Soya Industries entered into the corporate insolvency resolution process and Shailendra Ajmera was appointed as the resolution professional.

The appointment was made by the National Company Law Tribunal on the application of the creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Also read: Ruchi Soya Case: Watch Who You Wed – The Message In IBC’s Section 29A