Clearly, no one appears to be ceding ground yet in the battle for the debt-ridden firm, where financial creditors have filed claims worth around Rs 104 billion and operational creditors have filed claims worth Rs 360 million.
At the heart of the bidding war, say analysts, is Ruchi Soya's edible oil refining capacity, which stands at 3.3 million tonnes per annum. Ruchi Soya has around 13-14 refining plants across the country, of which five are port-based.
Patanjali already has a marketing tie-up with Ruchi Soya and is keen to expand its cooking oil business in the future.
"Port-based refining capacity is critical," says an edible oil industry executive, who declined to be quoted, since he belongs to one of the bidding firms. “It makes it easier for companies
to refine edible oil imported into the country. And 70 per cent of edible oil consumed in India is imported. So, if there is ready capacity available (at ports), (edible oil) players will scoop down to acquire it,” he says.
Edible oil refining, for the record, gave Ruchi Soya nearly 85 per cent of its topline in 2017-18. Seed extraction, vanaspati production and manufacture of food products were some of the other contributors to its topline for the last financial year. The company’s key brands include Nutrela, which is a range of soya-based products. And Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Gold and Ruchi Star, which are all edible oils.
In four years, the company's turnover has more than halved from Rs 315.61 billion (in 2014-15) to Rs 120.27 billion (in 2017-18) as the company struggled with its business.
Losses, on the other hand, have widened from Rs 12.69 billion in 2015-16 to Rs 57.54 billion in 2017-18.