IBC process: Creditors pick Tata Steel as H1 bidder for Bhushan Power

Bhushan Power & Steel | Photo: PTI
The committee of creditors (CoC) to Bhushan Power & Steel has picked Tata Steel as the highest qualified bidder — for the second time — after a marathon meeting.

The lenders selected Tata Steel, in accordance with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order on Monday, from the original resolution plans submitted in February. 

JSW Steel has been selected the H2 bidder. Electronic voting on Tata Steel’s resolution plan will start in 48 hours.

However, the CoC will inform the tribunal about JSW Steel’s revised offer in a sealed cover on Wednesday, when a scheduled hearing is slated. The CoC had given the bidders time till 9 am on Tuesday to revise their offers. The only revised offer with the CoC right now is from JSW Steel.

In Tuesday’s meeting, Tata Steel, JSW Steel and Liberty House were understood to have made presentations before the CoC. The tone for the meeting was, however, set by the NCLAT order, which said the CoC should consider the first batch of resolution plans in its meeting on Tuesday.

Tata Steel had moved an application which was mentioned before the NCLAT on Monday. According to the tribunal’s observation, no new plan or revision was to be placed before the CoC in Tuesday’s meeting. The tribunal had said that if any new plan was received it would have to be kept in a sealed cover and should not be opened or considered by the CoC. Further, if any revision had been opened by the CoC, it would have to be sealed and was not to be considered in the CoC meeting.

According to the original resolution plans, Tata Steel’s upfront payment to lenders is Rs 170 billion and the bid value is around Rs 245 billion. JSW Steel had offered Rs 110 billion and Liberty House Rs 186 billion.

Last Thursday, JSW Steel had revised its offer for Bhushan Power to Rs 180 billion. The CoC then decided to given time to bidders to revise their offers till Tuesday. Tata Steel had opposed the move to invite revised offers and said it was in violation of earlier NCLAT orders and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The tribunal, in its order dated July 20, had noted: “The three ‘resolution plans’ which are in consonance of Section 30(2) viable, feasible and fulfill other matrix may be accepted by the majority vote of shares of the CoC.” Also, before the summer break, an appeal for a rebid was not allowed by the tribunal.

At the end of June, Tata Steel had been formally communicated it was the highest qualified bidder for Bhushan Power & Steel under the CIRP rules, and it was invited for negotiations. Lenders had selected JSW Steel H2 bidder.

Tata Steel and JSW Steel were initially the two bidders for Bhushan Power, which has a 3 million-tonne steelmaking capacity and debt of Rs 470 billion. However, Liberty House joined the fray after the deadline but it was rejected by the resolution professional and the CoC. 

Subsequently, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) asked the CoC to consider the Liberty House bid, which was challenged by Tata Steel in the NCLAT.

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