Mittals want to seal Essar deal fast
After emerging as the highest bidder for Essar Steel, global giant ArcelorMittal aims to complete the “negotiations as swiftly as possible” with the debt-laden firm's committee of creditors (CoC).
On Friday, the CoC of Essar Steel had declared the Lakshmi N Mittal-owned company as the preferred bidder for Essar Steel.
“ArcelorMittal confirms it has been informed by the CoC for Essar Steel India Limited (ESIL) that it has been evaluated to be the H1 Resolution Applicant (the preferred bidder) in the corporate insolvency resolution process for ESIL,” the Luxembourg-based company said in a statement late on Friday night. The company said it will now enter into final negotiations with the committee of creditors.
ArcelorMittal, which is the world’s largest steel maker, has been locked in a murky legal battle with other bidders, especially Russian VTB Bank-promoted Numetal to take over Essar Steel, under the insolvency proceedings.
The company has been trying for long to enter India but has not succeeded so far. It had announced over a decade back to set up two plants — with 12 million tonnes per annum capacity each — in Jharkhand and Odisha, which did not fructify.
“Now, look forward to completing negotiations as swiftly as possible,” the company said after it emerged as the highest bidder for Essar Steel.
Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, had earlier told PTI in an interview that he would be surprised if the world's largest steel maker, with sound financials and strong technology, is declared ineligible to participate in the bid for Essar Steel.
Essar Steel was among the 12 companies referred by the Reserve Bank of India for insolvency proceedings.
Earlier this week, ArcelorMittal had said it would pay Rs 7,469 crore to the creditors of Uttam Galva and KKS Petron, according to a Supreme Court order, to be eligible to acquire Essar Steel.
The Supreme Court on October 4 had granted one more opportunity to ArcelorMittal and Numetal to bid for Essar Steel if they clear their non-performing asset dues of their related corporate debtors within two weeks.
Of the Rs 7,469 crore, around 80 per cent will be used to settle the dues of Uttam Galva and the rest 20 per cent for KSS Petron.
Russia’s VTB Bank on October 12 had moved the Supreme Court seeking clarification on its October 4 verdict by which mining major ArcelorMittal and Numetal were granted another opportunity to bid for Essar Steel.
A bench of justices R F Nariman and Indu Malhotra had said that ArcelorMittal and Numetal can bid for Essar Steel, provided the two pay off the non-performing assets (NPAs) of their related corporate debtors within two weeks from October 4.