Sale of business verticals most feasible option, says new IL&FS board

The sale process of Gujarat International Finance Tec-city Company Limited and IL&FS Paradip Refinery Water Limited is expected to be over by June 30
The newly appointed directors of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) have decided that “an asset level resolution and the sale of business verticals comprising of a basket of companies and other entities” is the most feasible option for the resolution of the company's debt, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). The proposed resolution framework will be based on the principles of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the ministry said.

As a part of the resolution process, the sale of ten companies of the IL&FS group, placed in the green category is already underway the MCA said. The total internal and external debt of these ten companies combined stands at Rs 11,564 crore which is nearly 99% of the debt of all companies placed in the green category, the ministry said in an affidavit filed with the NCLAT.

The ten companies in the green category, for which the new directors of IL&FS have initiated sale process, include companies such as Lalpur Wind Energy Private Limited, Etesian Urja Limited, ONGC Tripura Power Company Limited, IL&FS Paradip Refinery Water Limited, IL&FS Solar Power Limited, Mangalore SEZ Limited, and IL&FS Technologies Limited, MCA said in the affidavit.

Of these, for the companies under IL&FS’ wind portfolio, the final bids have been received. In each of the seven Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) of the portfolio, Gail has emerged as the highest bidder, the ministry said. Japan-based ORIX Corporation, which already holds 49 per cent stake in these SPVs, has however, invoked its right of first refusal and expressed interest in buying the remaining 51 per cent stake, MCA said. The ministry said it hoped to complete the deal by June 30 subject to the requisite approvals.

The sale process of Gujarat International Finance Tec-city Company Limited and IL&FS Paradip Refinery Water Limited is expected to be over by June 30. The new board expects to receive binding bids for Jharkhand Infrastructure Implementation Company Limited and IL&FS Technologies Limited by June 30 and July 15, respectively, MCA said in the affidavit.

The new board has also requested that the NCLAT direct some banks which are refusing to invest the cash surplus of IL&FS’ group entities lying in escrow and other accounts to create fixed deposits from amounts lying in those accounts. Some banks, the MCA said in its affidavit, had been refusing to release funds lying in escrow accounts. These funds, the ministry told the NCLAT, were essential for maintaining going concern status of the company.

Allahabad Bank is one such bank which is refusing to release funds as going concern payments to Road Infrastructure Development Company of Rajasthan (RIDBOR). It had earlier released funds for the period October - February, but has stopped releasing funds now, the MCA said. The NCLAT has asked the ministry to file an affidavit detailing the same and fixed hearing in the matter on May 27.

The newly constituted board on Tuesday also informed the NCLAT that it had added 5 more companies in the green category, while two companies had been added in the red category. Of the total subsidiaries of IL&FS, only 11 remain to be classified, MCA said. IL&FS has also sought to make October 15, 2018, as the cut-off date for the purposes of the resolution framework.

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