Adani group highest bidder for Ruchi Soya, but Patanjali is still in race

Illustration: Binay Sinha
Adani Wilmar has emerged as the highest bidder for the bankrupt edible oil manufacturer Ruchi Soya, but yoga guru Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved might still have a chance, according to media reports.

Billionaire Gautam Adani's company has offered about Rs 60 billion for acquiring Ruchi Soya, sources told news agencies. Patanjali, the only other qualified player in the race, bid for around Rs 57 billion. 

The declaration of the winner has yet to come since “banks and the resolution professional (RP) settle conflict of interest issues and the two are allowed to better each other’s offer”, the Economic Times reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter. 

Not over yet 

The Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Ruchi Soya on Tuesday opened the bids submitted by Patanjali and Adani Wilmar, which sells cooking oil under the Fortune brand. 

The CoC has decided to conduct an auction under the Swiss challenge method to maximise the asset value of Ruchi Soya.  Under the method, Adani will get another chance to make an offer if Patanjali were to match or better its bid.

Speaking to news agencies, Patanjali spokesperson SK Tijarawala raised questions over the process, citing reports of the resignation of law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as advisor to Adani Wilmar. The law firm is also advising Ruchi Soya's resolution professional.

"We are surprised and have sought details from CoC. We have written a letter on the issue of resignation of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas," Tijarawala said. 

Ruchi Soya, which is facing insolvency proceedings, has a total debt of about Rs 120 billion. The company has many manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star, and Ruchi Gold.

Apart from Patanjali and Adani, companies that had shown interest in acquiring Ruchi Soya were Emami Agrotech and Godrej Agrovet.

Patanjali Ayurved already has a tie-up with the Indore-based Ruchi Soya for edible oil refining and packaging and it wants to further expand into cooking oil business. 


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