ArcelorMittal, one of the two key contenders for the bankrupt Essar Steel, is understood to have transferred about Rs 7,000 crore into a State Bank of India escrow account towards payment of dues of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron in an attempt to make its bid for Essar Steel eligible, banking sources said.
A week ago, Essar Steel’s committee of creditors (CoC) had notified the two bidders, ArcelorMittal and Numetal, that they would be given seven days’ time to clear all outstanding dues of companies in which they were promoters. The deadline for repaying the dues ended on Tuesday, bankers said. Sources said that the offer for the payment of dues contains certain caveats.
“ArcelorMittal can confirm it has written to the CoC for Essar Steel in response to the letter received on May 8. The details of this letter are confidential,” an official spokesperson for ArcelorMittal said.
“However, ArcelorMittal maintains that its offer for Essar Steel, submitted on February 12, is and always has been eligible. Any offer to pay any outstanding loans of companies where we only had a passive stake with no management or governance role would be made without prejudice to demonstrate the seriousness of our commitment to India and Essar Steel,” the spokesperson added. (FE)