Aditya Birla Group-owned UltraTech Cement will increase its bid for Binani Cement by Rs 700 crore to Rs 7,200 crore, even as the bankrupt company’s committee of creditors on Wednesday approved the offer by a consortium of Dalmia-Piramal and Bain.
“I would have bid for this value earlier only had we been invited by the resolution professional on our requests, since the margin between the highest and second-highest bidders was very less,” UltraTech chief financial officer Atul Daga told
The company has emailed the resolution professional (RP) about the decision to increase the bid, but has yet to receive a response, he said.
UltraTech, India’s largest cement maker by capacity, is putting in the fresh bid after its requests to consider for the final round of bidding along with Dalmia Bharat went unheeded by lenders and the RP, the official appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal to manage the debt resolution process.
The company had moved the NCLT Kolkata on Tuesday seeking a more transparent way to evaluate bids. On hearing the petition, the judge told UltraTech that the company was “trying to stall the process” by pleading to the bankruptcy court for a “more transparent way of evaluating bids”.
“This higher bid shows that we are a serious bidder and we are not trying to stall the process,” said Daga.
“I would have bid for this increased value had we been invited by the RP earlier when we had requested him to do so.”
The company said it should be invited as the lenders are obliged under law to maximise the value of the transaction. The fresh bid has offered to repay the debt of the unsecured creditors of Binani Cement with an additional Rs 500 crore to various vendors and equipment suppliers.
That lenders to the debt-ridden cement maker have allowed Dalmia Bharat to acquire Binani, overruling the objections raised by Ultra-Tech. Lenders said the fresh bid would be considered by the committee of creditors but unlikely that the process would be repeated again.
“Since the offer has come to the RP in the afternoon, the matter will be taken up with the committee of creditors for their opinion,” said one of the people aware of the development.
“It is unlikely that the process will be considered since lenders have already announced Dalmia Bharat as highest bidder.”
Dalmia has already received the Competition Commission of India approval and can pay the lenders the day after NCLT endorses the deal.
But with the boards of the banks still to approve of Dalmia’s offer, UltraTech also stands to get a chance. Dalmia Bharat declined to comment.
Binani Cement, which owes close to Rs 4,000 crore to lenders, saw a close contest between a Dalmia Bharat-Bain Piramal Resurgence Fund consortium and UltraTech for the assets.