Staking its claim of a 'superior bid' to acquire Bhushan Power and Steel, Sanjeev Gupta-led Liberty House plans to move NCLT today to direct creditors and resolution professional to consider its offer. The UK-based Indian-born founder of the metals and industrial group told CNBC TV 18 that the company has requested NCLT to consider its bid, saying their offer is 'definitely superior' to Tata Steel's bid.
Earlier, there were reports that Tata Steel's offer of Rs 24,500 crore - which includes an upfront payment of Rs 17,000 crore to lenders, a cash infusion of Rs 7,000 crore to meet the company's working capital requirements was the leading offer.
"India is a natural home for us, promoters of our group are Indian. We have been watching India for a long time, feel now is a good time to enter the country," Gupta told the channel. Making a case for acquiring Bhushan Power and Steel, Gupta said, "they make auto grade steel which fits in with our plans."
A spokesperson with Liberty House had earlier told PTI, "We plan to file application with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) either on Monday or Tuesday and ask it to direct RP (resolution professional) and CoC (Committee of Creditors) to open our bid...We are hopeful that NCLT would clarify and our bid would be opened."
Stating that the bid of Liberty House was submitted before the bids for Bhushan Power and Steel were opened, the company said that nothing unfair has happened.
"India should encourage entrepreneurs like us to invest in India. If we are successful on our bids we will invest USD 10 billion in India over the next five years," the spokesperson said.
Terming itself as a "turnaround specialist", the company said that it has more than two dozen turnaround success stories in the last three years and an "impeccable track record".
Gupta, who is the Executive Chairman of Liberty House, said that his group will bid for Amtek Auto and other ferrous assets. We want to enter the primary steel sector, will bid for ABG Shipyard, Gupta told CNBC TV 18. Gupta said that Amtek Auto will be a great strategic fit for the group.
The Committee of Creditors had on Wednesday rejected the bid of Liberty House to acquire Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, leaving Tata Steel and JSW Steel in the race for taking over the assets of the bankrupt firm, a source said.
"Committee of creditors (COC) in a meeting has rejected the bids of Liberty House (of the UK) because the company submitted the bids after the last date of submission date which was February 8," a source privy to the development had said.
Liberty House had submitted the bid on Tuesday, he said.
In the COC meeting the bids of Tata Steel and JSW Steel were disclosed and the detailed terms and conditions of the bids were disclosed to the lenders, the source said.
Bhushan Power and Steel owes about Rs 45,000 crore to its lenders.
When contacted, Resolution Professional (RP) Mahender Kumar Khandelwal had declined to comment on the developments.
According to the source, while Tata Steel offered Rs 17,000 crore to the lenders as upfront amount and Rs 7,200 crore for operations of Bhushan, JSW made an offer of Rs 11,000 crore to the lenders and Rs 2,000 crore for the operations of the beleaguered power firm.
The COC will now meet on March 6 to take the process forward, including declaration of the highest bidder.
Bhushan Power and Steel was among the 12 non-performing accounts referred by the Reserve Bank of India for National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) proceedings.
with PTI inputs