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Bid deadline for stressed steel firms extended

Seeking to ensure maximum participation in the bidding for stressed assets under the insolvency law, the creditors’ committees for Bhushan Power & Steel and Electrosteel Steels have extended the deadline for submitting the expression of interest (EOI).

Among the companies that have joined the race for stressed steel assets after this decision are ArcelorMittal and Liberty House for Bhushan Power & Steel, and Vedanta for Electrosteel.

E-mails sent to ArcelorMittal and Vedanta went unanswered, while Liberty House said it did not want to comment on market speculations and was evaluating different opportunities. Mahender Kumar Khandelwal, the insolvency professional for Bhushan Power, and leader and partner of business restructuring at BDO India LLP, declined to comment.

In the case of Electrosteel, Vedanta had submitted the EOI 10 days late, but the committee of creditors decided to extend the date, said sources close to the development.

Electrosteel has advertised in newspapers that on the instructions of the committee of creditors, the resolution professional is inviting applicants, including people who might not have submitted EOIs before but satisfy the minimum eligibility criteria, to submit resolution plans for the company by December 11. Applicants would also have to submit EOIs before the submission of resolution plans.

The original date for submitting EOIs for Electrosteel was September 27. Those who had submitted EOIs by that date were: Srei Infrastructure Finance, Tata Steel, Mesco Steel, Edelweiss, Avalokiteshvar Valinv Ltd, and existing promoter, Electrosteel Castings. However, the latest amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) have barred the promoters from reacquiring their assets unless overdues are paid with interest before the submission of a resolution plan.

Sources said that for Bhushan Power, the credit committee had decided to allow prospective bidders to submit their resolution plans till the 150th day, which, for the company, would be December 23. The IBC rules provide for a period of 180 days for resolution with a 90-day extension.

Bhushan Power had a cut-off date of October 6 for submitting the qualification documents from resolution applicants. It had received EOIs from JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Vedanta, AION Capital, an investor from the UAE, Mesco, and existing promoter, Sanjay Singal. Right now, among those in the fray also include ArcelorMittal and Liberty House.

The deadline for the submission of resolution plans for Bhushan Power & Steel, Essar Steel, and Bhushan Steel is December 23. Bhushan Steel had already invited resolution plans by December 23.

Industry sources said the committee of creditors would want maximum participation of bidders for better recovery of assets.

Source: Business Standard

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