Upping the ante in the fight for Essar Steel, Numetal is trying to get control of Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure (OSPIL) by repaying Odisha Slurry’s dues to lenders. OSPIL is strategically important since its pipelines carry iron slurry to feed Essar Steel’s plant and without access to this pipeline, running the plant could be difficult.
In February, lenders to OSPIL had moved the Delhi High Court seeking a stay on the sale of a 70 per cent stake in OSPIL to Numetal Mauritius. Numetal Mauritius had entered into an agreement to buy a 70 per cent stake in OSPIL from Srei Infrastructure for Rs 4,000 crore.
OSPIL is understood to have informed its lenders it proposes to repay their loans by April 30. If the lenders accept Numetal’s offer, the Delhi High Court would need to be informed of the decision at the next hearing on April 5.
Numetal, a joint venture between Russia’s VTB Bank and Rewant Ruia’s trust, has made a bid for Essar Steel under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), as has Lakshmi Mittal’s ArcelorMittal.
Essar Steel owes lenders close to Rs 45,000 crore. Both NuMetal and ArcelorMittal were found to be ineligible to bid under Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The Committee of Creditors (CoC) decided last week it would only consider applications from bidders who had submitted expressions of interest in the first round. FE