EPC lenders move NCLT against Mauritian bidder

EPC lenders move NCLT against Mauritian bidder

In November 2019, the Mumbai bench of the NCLT approved a resolution plan by Mauritius-based Royale Partners for EPC Constructions to revive the company that was previously known as Essar Projects India. The foreign investor had offered to put in around Rs 900 crore to revive the company, which owed more than Rs 7,700 crore to its financial and operational creditors.

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MUMBAI: The monitoring agency of EPC Constructions India has approached the bankruptcy court against successful bidder Mauritius-based Royale Partners Investment Fund for not depositing the required amount after agreeing to pay.

In November 2019, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved a resolution plan by Mauritius-based Royale Partners for EPC Constructions to revive the company that was previously known as Essar Projects India. The foreign investor had offered to put in around Rs 900 crore to revive the company, which owed more than Rs 7,700 crore to its financial and operational creditors.

“We have got so far Rs 42 crore from the successful resolution applicant (Royale Partners), which is 10% of total infusion of Rs 420 crore by the bidder, but they have failed to pay the remaining amount as per schedule,” said Pradeep Sancheti, senior counsel, who appeared for the monitoring agency along with an advocate Pulkit Sharma. “The bidder was supposed to invest Rs 480 crore by way of issuance of the non-convertible debentures (NCDs).”

The monitoring agency was identified by the lenders in consultation with the successful bidder and appointed to look after the affairs of the firm until the transition. Abhijit Guhathakurta, the resolution professional managing the company’s bankruptcy process, is heading the monitoring agency.

Countering the arguments of the monitoring committee, senior counsel Dinyar Madon, appearing for Royale Partners, argued they just received the petition last week and needed time to file their response.

“There is a lot to say about the manner of the committee of creditors (CoC). Two members of the CoC have already challenged the NCLT ruling in NCLAT and we want time to file our response to clarify our position,” said Madon.

“As per the approved plan, the amount to be paid by the resolution applicant was due in two instalments. However, due to the non-compliance of the order dated November 25 of the NCLT by RP, the first instalment was not paid as promised in the resolution plan,” said Mayur Ghule, managing director, RPMG Investments. “There are various other reasons for the non-payment of the upfront payment as the compliance of the order issued by the NCLT on November 25, 2019 is not complete.”

Guhathakurta was also not immediately available to comment on the development.

On Monday, a division bench of the Mumbai NCLT, comprising judicial member Suchitra Kanuparthi and technical member Chandra Bhan Singh, allowed Royale Partners time till January 30 to file their response and adjourned the matter till then.

Source- Economic Times.

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