JSW Steel wants to go solo in the race for bankrupt steelmaker Essar Steel. JSW Steel had earlier bid for Essar Steel together with Numetal. Given the Supreme Court has already outlined the way forward after hearing all the arguments under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), it would appear the steelmaker must approach the apex court for permission to throw its hat in the ring.
MV Seshagiri Rao, joint managing director, JSW Steel, said on Tuesday that the company was seeking legal opinion on whether it would be eligible to bid for Essar Steel together with ArcelorMittal, Numetal and Vedanta. “It depends upon the legal opinion which we get and the views of the committee of creditors and the resolution professional (RP). If they take a positive view, then we are open to look at it. We are seeking a legal opinion and based on that opinion we will take a call,” Rao said.
The VTB Capital-led Numetal would be eligible to bid for Essar Steel, provided the company pays off its dues of Rs 49,000 crore. While ArcelorMittal is understood to have agreed to pay Rs 42,000 crore, Numetal’s bid for Essar Steel is believed to be in the region of Rs 37,000 crore. Vedanta is willing to pay a slightly smaller sum of around Rs 35,000 crore.
On October 4, the apex court gave both Numetal and ArcelorMittal a final chance to clear their “taint of disqualification” by clearing the dues to their respective creditors that they were associated within two weeks.—FE