NCLAT asks Tata if it will pay Bhushan dues

Tata Steel offered Rs 35,200 crore in cash to acquire Bhushan Steel. It would pay another Rs 1,200 crore over next 12 months to creditors and convert the remaining debt owed to banks to equity. Reuters File Photo

The company law appellate tribunal on Wednesday asked Tata Steel if it will clear the statutory dues like income tax and GST of Bhushan Steel, a company it had acquired in the insolvency proceedings earlier this month.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), hearing appeals against the acquisition filed by Bhushan Steel's founding Singal family and the firm's operational creditor Larsen and Toubro, asked Tata Steel to submit a statement of statutory dues of the company.

The two-member bench headed by NCLAT Chairman, Justice S J Mukhopadhaya also asked the Resolution Professional, which oversaw the auction of Bhushan Steel, to state how much would L&T get from Rs 532 crore offered to all the operational creditors.

Bhushan Steel owed its lenders about Rs 56,000 crore and was among the 12 big loan defaulters identified by the Reserve Bank of India last year to undergo insolvency under the new bankruptcy law.

Tata Steel offered Rs 35,200 crore in cash to acquire Bhushan Steel. It would pay another Rs 1,200 crore over next 12 months to creditors and convert the remaining debt owed to banks to equity.

After the entire exercise, Tata would hold 75 percent stake and banks would get 12.27 percent. Singal family would be left with 2.5 percent and the remaining 10 percent would be public holding.

While L&T wants to recover its Rs 956 crore dues, Singal family has made a Rs 28,592 crore counter-offer.

During the proceedings, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the Rs 28,592 crore offer by Neeraj Singal. "This Rs 28,592 crore offer in 14 years is a spoiler," he said.

Meanwhile, senior advocate S Ganesh appearing for Singal submitted that Tata Steel was ineligible to bid for Bhushan Steel under section 29 A of IBC.

The section mandates that a person convicted for any offence punishable with imprisonment for two years or more is ineligible for submitting a resolution plan. Tata Steel UK, a foreign subsidiary of Tata Steel, was fined by an English Court in February 2018, he added.

The appellate tribunal has listed the matter on July 3 for next hearing.

Neeraj Singal and L&T had filed appeals challenging May 15 order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that had approved Tata Steel's bid for Bhushan Steel. 

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NCLAT asks Tata if it will pay Bhushan dues

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