Dalmia offer in Binani insolvency proceedings pittance: Operational creditors

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Kolkata, April 6 (IANS) Terming the Dalmia Bharat offer as a “pittance” in the ongoing Binani Cement’s insolvency proceedings, the operational creditors of the debt-laden cement maker on Friday said they were rejecting it outright and vowed to fight tooth and nail for their dues.

“The entire Dalmia package is a cruel joke on us as most of us have patiently waited and worked with Binani to bring it to the stage of ongoing concern from its bankruptcy,” Binani Operational Creditors Forum (BOCF) said in a statement.

The forum further said: “As the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) is slated to hear the case again on Monday, BOCF has sought to bring to limelight the travesty of justice being perpetuated by Dalmia Bharat in the name of settlement in cahoots with the Resolution Professional (RP).”

In fact, a group of operational creditors has already moved an intervention petition at NCLT accusing the RP of ignoring their interests and seeking their involvement in the settlement proceedings.

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According to the forum, the total amount due to the operational creditors has been “wrongly verified by the RP as Rs 503.37 crore of which Dalmia offers to pay just Rs 151 crore”.

BOCF spokesperson Siddharth Tibrewal claimed operational creditors’ actual dues are over Rs 700 crore.

He vowed that they “will fight till we get justice”.

“Dalmia somehow comes to conclusion that 98 per cent of the operational creditors or trade creditors have dues of under Rs 1 crore for whom the company offers full payment. For those whose dues are between Rs 1 crore and Rs 5 crore, the proposed settlement amount is 40 per cent. For dues of Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore, it is 25 per cent and for more than Rs 10 crore the settlement amount offered is just 5 per cent,” Tibrewal explained.

“We are not asking for any charity, we want our rightful dues,” he said, adding that at NCLT, the operational creditors’ group has pleaded for their involvement in the settlement since their voice has gone unheard so far.

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“We have full faith in judiciary and we look forward to justice,” Tibrewal added.

Meanwhile, Binani Industries, the parent company of insolvent company, had submitted the application before the tribunal seeking termination of insolvency proceedings against its cement manufacturing subsidiary and its counsel had said it could pay all its creditors.

The move came after Binani Industries concluded a commercial understanding with the UltraTech Cement to sell its entire 98.43 per cent stake in its cement manufacturing subsidiary at a consideration of Rs 7,266 crore.

In fact, the bench in its order dated March 27, said: “In the larger interest of all the stakeholders, possibility of having a harmonious settlement is to be considered… Parties are free to consider it out of tribunal.”

The forum, on Friday, said: “This assumes significance as the Committee of Creditors (CoC) has not taken any decision on an out-of-court settlement to the issue, as suggested by the NCLT, thus paving the way for Dalmia offer going through the proceedings.”

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During the ongoing insolvency proceedings of Binani Cement, Resolution Professional Vijaykumar V. Iyer submitted the resolution plan of Dalmia Bharat-controlled Rajputana Properties before the bench as the “highest bidder” to take over the debt-laden company.

On the other hand, UltraTech Cement had recently informed stock exchanges that it obtained the Competition Commission of India (CCI)’s approval on its bid for the debt-laden company and the company claimed the CCI clearance validates its contention that “they were wrongly and unjustifiably rated H2 instead of H1”.

Rejecting this, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd’s Group CEO Mahendra Singhi had claimed: “The reasons cited by the unsuccessful bidder for its failed bid, in stock exchange filings and press interviews, are misleading. We have made the highest financial bid and had also obtained the highest score in the evaluation.”

When contacted, Dalmia Bharat officials declined to make any comments.

–IANS

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