Creditor's panel to take call on Dalmia's Binani Cement resolution plan

Despite UltraTech Cement raising its bid to Rs. 69 billion to outmatch the one quoted jointly by Dalmia Bharat Cement and Bain Capital's Resurgent India Fund of Rs. 67 billion in the quest to acquire Binani Cement, the former's resolution plan is poised to be placed before the Committee of Creditors (CoC) for voting early next week.

A source aware of these developments said, "Usually, it is seen that if the CoC voting is in favour of the resolution plan, it approaches the NCLT for final approval in 2-3 days" adding that once a bidder is selected by the CoC, any subsequent higher or other secondary bids cannot be considered.

"In the CoC meeting, the resolution plan put forward by Dalmia Bharat Cement and Bain Capital's Resurgent India Fund has got the official approval thereby making it the H1 bidder. Once it is accepted, it is deemed to be closed and changes cannot be made", the source said furthering that bids can be quoted and modified only at the initial stages of application and once a resolution plan is approved and an H1 bidder is chosen, modifications to an approved resolution plan is not allowed.

"One has to follow the guidelines set by the vigilance commission and the government and lenders will be reluctant to discuss any modified bids from other competing companies", the source said.

The Competition Commission of India has also nodded to the acquisition of Binani Cement, the largest subsidiary of Binani Industries, by Dalmia Bharat Cement.

Given these considerations, the CoC has to take up Dalmia Bharat Cement's resolution plan for voting.

Previously, UltraTech Cement had moved NCLT questioning the process of selecting the bidder and alleged that it wasn't let known by the resolution professional about why its bid was rejected.

While claiming an asset valuation of Rs. 173 billion, Binani Industries, the promoter of Binani Cement, had also alleged that assets of Binani Cement has been undervalued during the resolution plan and moved NCLT in its own capacity.

In July 2017, Bank of Baroda dragged the Rs. 38.84 billion debt laden Binani Cement to NCLT after the former failed to repay the bank a loan of over Rs. 0.97 billion. The case was admitted and subsequently, Vijaykumar Iyer was appointed as the resolution professional. JSW Cement initially led the bid but its resolution plan was rejected and fresh bidding process was announced from which the Dalmia Bharat Cement- Bain Capital's Resurgent India Fund consortium emerged as the preferred bidder.

If the deal is finally endorsed by NCLT, it will be the third such acquisition by Dalmia Bharat Cement, the previous others being the bankrupt Murli Cement and Kalyanpur Cement.