Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved has reportedly emerged as the highest bidder for the debt-stressed Ruchi Soya Industries. Ruchi Soya owes around Rs 12,000 crore to a consortium of 16 lenders and was referred to bankruptcy court last year as part of the 28 accounts referred to by the Reserve Bank of India.
According to a report in The Times of India, Patanjali Ayurved made a bid of Rs 4,000-4,500 crore for the Indore-based edible oil company. Reports suggest that there were six to seven bidders who were interested in buying Ruchi Soya.
Some of the bidders are ITC, Godrej Agrovet, Adani Wilmar, Emami and Patanjali Ayurveda. Adani Wilmar made the second highest offer for Ruchi Soya, the TOI reported.
Ruchi Soya was admitted for the insolvency resolution process after two financial creditors-- Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank -- had on December 15, 2017 moved to the NCLT.
Ruchi Soya has many manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star and Ruchi Gold. Patanjali already has a tie-up with Ruchi Soya for edible oil refining and packaging.
If Patanjali succeeds in buying Ruchi Soya, the Ayurved company will be seen as potential competitor to FMCG major Hindustan Unilever. Baba Ramdev-run Patanjali aims to be a major player in edible oil segment, particularly soybean oil.
This year in January, Baba Ramdev in an event in Delhi had said that Patanjali's target was to beat HUL by next year. However, the revenue gap between Patanjali and HUL is huge and widening. In 2017, Patanjali sold products worth Rs 10,561 crore while HUL reported sales of Rs 34,487 crore.
Patanjali Ayurved recently partnered with eight online platforms - Amazon, Grofers, Shopclues, Flipkart, BigBasket, 1mg, Paytm Mall and Netmeds - to push sales of its range of products.
According to multinational brokerage company CLSA, Patanjali is the fastest growing fast-moving consumer company in India. Patanjali Ayurved has a network of over 4,000 distributors, 10,000 stores and 100 Patanjali mega marts pan India.
(With inputs from PTI)