Workers prepare cement at a hydroelectric dam construction site in Laos. (Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg)

Supreme Court Restrains Finalisation Of Binani Cement Asset Sale Till Further Orders

The Supreme Court today restrained finalisation of sale of assets of Binani Cement Ltd. without its prior approval but allowed the debt resolution process to go on.

The top court also said that further proceedings will be subject to its orders.

A vacation bench of Justices Adarsh Goel and Ashok Bhushan issued the notice on a petition filed by Rajputana Properties Pvt Ltd. and restrained the committee of creditors from taking any final decision. “Issue notice returnable on July 2, 2018. In the meantime, no final order may be passed. This order will not debar further proceedings subject to orders of this Court,” the bench said.

Rajputana Properties, a subsidiary of Dalmia Bharat Ltd, had moved the apex court against a May 15 order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, which had asked resolution professionals to consider the revised proposals made by UltraTech Cement Ltd. for assets of Binani Cement.

Dalmia Bharat had emerged as the top bidder for acquisition of assets of Binani Cement, but subsequently UltraTech, which was the second highest bidder, came back with a revised higher offer, backed by original promoters of Binani Cement.

Also Read: UltraTech Cement Gets Lenders’ Approval To Acquire Binani Cement

At the outset during today’s hearing, Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium appearing for Rajputana Properties, said the court should restrain lenders from taking any decision on the finalisation of bids. “We want that no final decision is taken on the bids till the top court takes up the matter on July 2,” he said.

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for UltraTech, said they have offered Rs 1,000 crore more than Dalmia Bharat’s offer.

The bench said, “We have said that proceedings will continue but no final decision will be taken.” Dalmia Bharat in its bid had offered to pay around Rs 6,930 crore for Binani Cement whereas UltraTech has raised its bid to around Rs 7,960 crore.

Rajputana Properties had sought a stay on NCLAT's May 15 order by which it had directed the resolution professionals and CoC to consider the resolution plans as per its order saying that the appellate tribunal had wrongly laid down a procedure unknown to the statutory framework.

Binani Cement owes over Rs 6,500 crore to a consortium of lenders led by Bank of Baroda.

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