Ruchi Soya's RP seeks 8-10 days to reply on issues raised by Patanjali

The resolution professional (RP) of bankruptcy-bound Ruchi Soya has sought at least 8-10 days time for replying to clarifications sought by Patanjali Ayurved related to eligibility of Adani Group to participate in the bidding process to acquire Indore-based edible oil firm.

Patanjali group has also sought information about the parameters adopted by the RP to declare Adani Wilmar as the highest bidder (H1), besides questioning the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as the RP's legal advisor as the said law firm was already advising Adani Group.

The Haridwar-based FMCG firm has raised the issue of neutrality and conflict of interest over the appointment of the law firm.

Adani Wilmar, which sells cooking oil under the Fortune brand, and Baba Ramdev's Patanjali group are in the race to acquire debt-ridden Ruchi Soya.

According to sources, the RP has informed the Committee of Creditors (CoC) that it will take 8-10 days to reply to Patanjali, which has flagged concerns over Adani group's eligibility to participate in the bidding process under Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

This section mandates that there should not be a past default by the resolution applicant or its promoters besides other conditions.

Patanjali, which has been declared as the H2 second highest bidder with Rs 57 billion offer, was asked to submit a revised bid under the Swiss Challenge system by June 16 to match or better the highest offer of Rs 60 billion by Adani Wilmar under the Swiss Challenge system adopted by the RP and CoC.

However, Patanjali wrote to the RP seeking clarifications instead of submitting fresh and revised bid.

Under the Swiss Challenge method, Adani will get another chance to make an offer if Patanjali were to match or better its offer of about Rs 60 billion.

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.

Ruchi Soya, which is facing the 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.

In December 2017, Ruchi Soya Industries entered into the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and Shailendra Ajmera was appointed as the RP.

The appointment was made by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on the application of the creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

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