Insolvency code could take time to resolve cases

Insolvency
When the Centre constituted the insolvency and bankruptcy board, the intention was timely restructuring of a company’s finances. Six months since the initial cases were filed, some corporates have willingly chosen the code, while others have resisted the proceedings.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) chairman M S Sahoo, in a recent interaction with Business Standard, said the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) would only be successful in the long run. Sahoo said, “I don’t expect many cases to successfully complete resolution within 180 days right in the beginning. It will take time. In the long run, things will stabilise.”

On the right track

“Synergy Dooray, one of the earliest companies that went in for insolvency is right on track. The company has a resolution prepared,” according to  insolvency professional Mamta Binani. Binani, who is working on a number of insolvency cases, is of the opinion that banks are absorbing the code slowly. “Banks are being cautious while taking decisions. They are keeping a close eye on how things are shaping up. One or two success cases will help them gain confidence.”

Turbulent ride

Gupta Coal India, an ailing coal manufacturer, had filed for insolvency in an attempt to get rid of its debt of Rs 2,500 crore. The company has been trying hard to find a valuator so that insolvency proceedings can begin. However, they are finding it difficult to bring all the bankers on-board. A company official told Business Standard, “The committee of creditors has disapproved the company’s appointment of IDBI’s subsidiary for finalising the valuations. The source pointed out, “Banks opposed the company’s plan to appoint IDBI’s subsidiary for Rs 20 lakh to finalise the valuation. Because of this there is no valuation and the insolvency proceedings cannot begin.” A company official also stated that bankers have been sending assistant manager-level officers for the committee of creditors meetings because of which there is decision paralysis. 

Forced trip

While most cases in the past six months were filed by corporate debtors aiming to recast debt, here is one debtor that resisted it. ICICI bank had filed an insolvency case against Innoventive Industries to get back the money it had lent the company. ICICI Bank vs Innoventive Industries was one of the first cases to be filed under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Innoventive’s total debt, at the time of filing for insolvency, was Rs 900 crore to all bankers. The case against Innoventive Industries has been moving from one court to the other for the last five months. ICICI Bank, one of the creditors, had filed for insolvency against this company at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and was admitted. The company appealed at the Bombay High Court which was later referred to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). The appellate body had finally taken a call to admit the case. 

Not on radar

In fact, the first case to be admitted for insolvency by the NCLT — Vijay Mallya-led UB Engineering — has not yet begun restructuring as a resolution professional has been appointed only recently.  According to the provisions, if a company doesn’t complete resolution within six months, the company will have to go for liquidation.

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