New Delhi: On Thursday, March 14, the NCLAT adjourned the hearing on the Essar Steel matter to March 15. The adjournment was made in the case of former promoter of Essar Steel, Prashant Ruia along with two other directors of the erstwhile steel maker moving the Appellate Tribunal challenging the global steel giant Arcelor Mittal’s take-over of debt-laden Essar Steel Ltd.
The Tribunal has directed the former promoters in accordance to the Supreme Court order to first clear out all dues pending in the name of the Essar Group, following which the Court will undertake further hearing of the case. The former parent group of Essar Steel has also instructed the promoters to return with a resolution plan for the debt-ridden Essar Steel.
While Essar Steel stands debt-ridden at 49,000 crores, its parent former parent, Essar Group further adds to over Rs. 80,000 crores.
Arcelor Mittal, a joint venture with Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp has offered a cash settlement of Rs. 42,000 crores to lenders and a Rs. 8,000 crore capital infusion. Moreover, as per its annual report, the global steel giant is planning a capital expenditure programme for the assets till 2024.
Previously, Essar Steel Asia Holdings, the promoters of Essar Steel, moved the Tribunal seeking copy of the resolution plan by Arcelor Mittal on grounds of being shareholders of the Company. However, the plea was dismissed by the NCLT on grounds of its previous order where it had dismissed their offer of Rs 54,000 crore as a settlement plan for Essar Steel.
Accepting the directions of the Tribunal, the Counsel appearing for the petitioners has sought about a week’s time to furnish a response alongside a resolution plan.
Furthermore, the Appellate Tribunal has asked Arcelor Mittal to increase its previously approved bid on account of promoters of the insolvent company having proposed a higher bid.
Sources revealed that the Corporate Affairs Ministry is only waiting for an official written order by the NCLT pursuant to which an order will be passed for the change in management of the debt-struck insolvent company.