NCLT admits Venugopal Dhoot’s plea to consolidate insolvency cases

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New Delhi: The bankruptcy court has decided to entertain a plea by Videocon Group founder Venugopal Dhoot seeking to consolidate separate insolvency proceedings initiated by lenders led by State Bank of India against 15 of his companies under a single court.

National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) principal bench in New Delhi on Thursday admitted Dhoot’s plea and sought a reply from SBI by October 24.

The country’s top bank and other lenders had filed separate proceedings against Videocon companies in different courts during June-September to recover Rs 20,000 crore.

Dhoot’s lawyers argued that separate proceedings in multiple courts would lead to unnecessary delays and also adversely impact the valuation of the consumer electronics business housed in these 15 entities which have inter-connected operations.

If the tribunal allows for consolidation of various proceedings against Videocon companies currently ongoing at different benches of NCLT under a single bench, it would be the first such ruling in a bankruptcy case.

A spokesperson for SBI was yet to respond to queries as of press time Friday. Advocate Sandeep Ladda, who is representing Venugopal Dhoot and Videocon Group, too, declined comment.

SBI is being represented by law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

Several banking officials ET spoke with agreed that single proceeding is likely to help the group get maximum valuation.

They contended that valuation of Amtek Auto was adversely affected as separate proceedings were initiated against multiple units of the company that had inter-linked businesses.

ET had reported on September 20 that the lenders to Videocon are looking to appoint a common process advisor to ensure coordinated and timely progress of proceedings of the 15 units that are being auctioned.

Source: Economic Times