National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has passed a restraining order to State Bank of India (SBI) for selling, as well as advertising to sell oversees oil and gas assets of debt-ridden Videocon group outside the ongoing insolvency process.
"The SBI is hereby prohibited to go ahead with the advertisement and directed to maintain the status quo till the decision is pronounced on merits", The Economic Times quoted NCLT as saying this.
Last month, the state-owned lender SBI had advertised to sell the upstream oil and gas assets of Videocon located in Brazil and Indonesia. The Venugopal Dhoot-promoted Videocon Industries has oil and gas assets in India, Brazil and Indonesia, along with its now-defunct consumer electronics business in India.
According to the NCLT, if SBI would be allowed to execute the sale as advertised, the Videocon group may suffer an irreparable loss in future if the tribunal takes a view that the asset in question belongs to or owned by the group.
"The properties and assets of the Corporate Debtor be protected by restraining any sale, transfer, alienation, assignment or creation of any sort of third party right in whatsoever form or manner on the said foreign oil and gas assets and all the other rights, assets (tangible and intangible) and benefits held," the counsel representing Videocon Industries reportedly said.
The beleaguered homegrown consumer durables company owes over Rs 85,000 crore to banks, its vendors and even its employees. Out of this, the company owes Rs 57,443 crore to its financial creditors, led by SBI (around Rs 11,175 crore), followed by IDBI Bank (Rs 9,561 crore), as per The Hindu report.
The company was sent to the NCLT in 2018 by lenders, led by SBI, after the Dhoots defaulted on their loans.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar