Pedestrians walk outside a warehouse operated by Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. near the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub Airport at Nagpur. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Ruchi Soya Case: Patanjali Moves NCLT Against Ruchi Soya Lenders Approving Adani Wilmar Bid

Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved has approached the National Company Law Tribunal challenging the decision by Ruchi Soya's lenders to approve Adani Wilmar's Rs 6,000-crore takeover bid.

The matter is expected to come up for hearing on Monday before the Mumbai bench of the tribunal, according to sources. When contacted, Patanjali spokesperson SK Tijarawala declined to comment, saying that the matter is sub-judice. A spokesperson of the Adani Group, too, declined comment.

Adani Wilmar’s bid was approved by the committee of creditors of Ruchi Soya on Thursday, with about 96 percent of favourable votes. The resolution professional has to seek the tribunal’s approval after the lenders choose a bid.

Adani Wilmar and the Patanjali group have been engaged in a long-drawn battle to take over Ruchi Soya. While Adani Wilmar emerged as the highest bidder with a Rs 6,000-crore offer, Patanjali group came second with a Rs 5,700-crore bid.

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

Patanjali Ayurved had earlier sought clarification from the resolution professional of Ruchi Soya over Adani Group’s eligibility to participate in the bidding. It also sought to know the parameters adopted by the professional to declare Adani Wilmar as the highest bidder.

The Haridwar-based firm had also questioned the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as the professional's legal advisor as the said law firm was already advising Adani Group.

Patanjali 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 professional and the committee of creditors.

Patanjali, however, wrote to the professional seeking clarifications instead of submitting a fresh bid. Ruchi Soya, which is facing insolvency proceedings, has a 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.

Ruchi Soya Industries entered into the corporate insolvency resolution process in Dec. 2017 and Shailendra Ajmera was appointed as the resolution professional.

Also read: Lenders Approve Adani Wilmar’s Bid For Ruchi Soya