After LN Mittal-promoted ArcelorMittal India and Numetal Mauritius— a Russian consortium where the Ruia family (promoters of the Essar group) has a minority shareholding— emerged as two final bidders for Essar Steel on Monday, the bids are set to be opened on Wednesday for analysis before being submitted to the Committee of Creditors (CoC) next week who will subsequently announce the winner.
A source close to the development said that the bids will be opened on Wednesday and will be overseen by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, the legal entity appointed for the process. “The envelope containing the Resolution Plans (RPs) will be opened on Wednesday in Mumbai in the presence of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. The representatives of
both the resolution applicants will be present and will sign the letter of acknowledgement. However, they are not permitted to see the contents of RPs submitted,” said the source.
The source added that the appointed legal entity will analyse the two bids and see if they meet the eligibility criteria and will “submit it to the CoC next week … The CoC, which includes the list of claimants, may announce the winner after that,” he said.
Essar Steel, which has debt of over Rs 40,000 crore, is among the 12 companies that the Reserve Bank of India directed banks to refer to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in June 2017. Even as reports suggested that four bidders, including Tata Steel and Vedanta Resources were also keen to participate in the bidding process for Essar Steel and submit their resolution plans, only ArcelorMittal and Numetal submitted their bids on Monday.
Numetal is a Russian consortium led by VTB Capital and the Essar Group promoters have a minority shareholding in the it.
LN Mittal, promoter of ArcelorMittal, the largest steelmaker in the world, has in the past looked to set up a major plant in India but the plans did not materialise and is now looking to do it through Essar Steel. Mittal has said in the recent past that Essar provides a “compelling opportunity” for ArcelorMittal to enter the high growth Indian steel market.
In a statement on Monday, ArcelorMittal said that its subsidiary ArcelorMittal India Private Limited submitted an offer for Essar Steel India Limited, in-line with the corporate insolvency resolution process for Essar. It further said that AMIPL set out a detailed industrial plan for Essar aimed at improving its performance and profitability and ensuring it can participate in the anticipated growth of steel demand in India.
Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal, said, “Essar provides a compelling opportunity for ArcelorMittal to enter the high growth Indian steel market. The offer submitted today by AMIPL includes a detailed investment plan to address operational issues in Essar’s existing asset base.”
A source close to the development, however, said that Mittal may have to face a stiff challenge as the Ruia brothers (Shashi and Ravi Ruia) want to be with Essar Steel even though with a minority shareholding. A market expert said that the bids are likely to be aggressive which will be good for the lenders.