The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the anti-trust regulatory body, has approved of Adani Wilmar’s Rs 60-billion bid to acquire insolvent firm Ruchi Soya. Adani Wilmar, an edible oil manufacturer and subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, filed its application with CCI on May 2 and the regulator approved its bid on August 10, a highly placed source confirmed the development to Business Standard.
Ruchi Soya was admitted under the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in December last year.
Last month, the Union Cabinet approved of amendments to the IBC, which states that lenders have to seek approval of the CCI before finalizing resolution plans for the corporate debtor. As part of the committee of creditors (CoC), lenders have to ensure that they get CCI's approval after CoC have declared the winning bid and winning applicant, to avoid further litigation.
Therefore, before the final resolution plan can be approved by the CoC and placed before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for its final approval and prior to the transfer of shares, Adani Wilmar had to file an application seeking CCI’s assent before formally taking over Ruchi Soya.
Questions sent to Adani Wilmar's spokesperson remained unanswered at the time of publication.
Adani Wilmar is a joint venture between the Adani Group and Singapore’s Wilmar International and was decla-red as the 'H1' bidder (highest) by Ruchi Soya's CoC on 14 June. The only other contender in the race was Patanjali Ayurved, which was declared as the H2 bidder, with an offer of Rs 57 billion. Business Standard reached out to Patanjali Ayurved's spokesperson for a comment but was unavailable.
In the initial round of bidding, Patanjali had emerged the H1 bidder with an offer of Rs 43 billion, which was significantly higher than Adani's initial bid of Rs 33 billion. The CoC and Resolution Professional conducted the bidding process through the Swiss challenge method to maximise the asset value.