In a surprise move, the Ruias, promoters of Essar SteelNSE 0.00 %, have put in an agressive Rs 54,000 crore offer to repay the company’s entire debt and wrest back control of their flagship asset.
“The shareholders of Essar Steel have today submitted a proposal to the Committee of Creditors (CoC) for full settlement of the entire admitted claims of the financial creditors, operational creditors, and workmen and employees of Essar Steel India Ltd (ESIL), aggregating Rs 54,389 crore, under Section 12A of the Code,” an official statement issued on Thursday evening said.
The plan includes an upfront cash payment of Rs 47,507 crore to all creditors, including Rs 45,559 crore to the senior secured financial creditors, ensuring full recovery of dues.
The move comes even as the CoC of Essar Steel has declared ArcelorMittal as the highest bidder in the auction for the steel company.
The CoC is empowered to consider and approve this Settlement Plan with the requisite voting share, on the basis of which the corporate insolvency resolution process against ESIL may be withdrawn, the statement added.
While the resolution plan currently under the CoC’s consideration takes care of only the secured creditors (i.e. the banks), by offering this settlement, the shareholders of ESIL are ready to pay up the entire dues that will lead to not only maximum recovery for the lenders, but also for all other classes of creditors, thus taking the company out of the corporate insolvency resolution process under Section 12A of the IBC, which was introduced in June 2018 by way of an amendment.
If the CoC were to accept the resolution plan currently under consideration, it will have to settle for a sizeable haircut. Moreover, the offer does not provide for meaningful payment to operational and other unsecured creditors.
Commenting on the move Prashant Ruia, Director, Essar, said: “Essar Steel got into difficulty because of external factors. It has been our constant endeavour to arrive at the best resolution for all stakeholders of ESIL. In fact, even after the onset of the insolvency resolution process, the shareholders of Essar Steel had made offers to settle the debt of the company, but the lenders did not accept those offers.”
Ruia added that their current proposal will provide 100% recovery to secured creditors and lenders, and maximum recovery for unsecured creditors. “This is well in excess of that offered in the proposal under consideration, and is in line with value maximisation, which is the underlying principle of the IBC process,” he said.
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