Vedanta, Tata Steel ‘not ineligible’ to bid gor Electrosteel Steels, court told

Kolkata: Vedanta and Tata Steel are “not ineligible” to bid for the insolvent company Electrosteel Steels, the Resolution Professional (RP) of the debt-laden company told the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday.

Electrosteel Steels, which owes lenders Rs 11,309 crore, had been referred to the Tribunal following a push from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in June last year.

“The resolution professional has come to a decision that both Vedanta and Tata Steel are not ineligible under the norms of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,” RP’s counsel Anindya Mitra, said appearing before the Kolkata bench of the Tribunal.

Through an affidavit, the RP, Dhaivat Anjaria, also informed the court that he had considered both the proposed resolution plans of the two resolution applicants and placed its before the Committee of Creditors (CoC).

In fact, Anjaria had received bids from Vedanta, Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors, Tata Steel and Renaissance Steel in January this year for the city-based insolvent steel maker.

The Abhishek Dalmia-led Renaissance Steel, alleged that the Vedanta and Tata Steel were not eligible to bid for the Electrosteel Steels as per the Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

Advocates appearing for the two companies contested the arguments.

Renaissance moved the tribunal, asking it to prevent the RP from proceeding on further negotiations with Vedanta, the highest bidder, till the issue of eligibility of the Anil Agarwal-led company and Tata Steel is determined.

Renaissance’s counsel Sumant Batra, on Thursday, contended before the bench that the ‘short’ affidavit filed by the RP was without ‘clarifications’ on the eligibility issues of Vedanta and Tata Steel.

“He avoided the main issues in his replies,” Batra said.

After hearing arguments from all the parties in the case, the judge reserved his order.