Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved, which is in race to acquire bankruptcy-bound Ruchi Soya, has been given time till June 16 to match or better the highest bid of about Rs 6,000 crore offered by Adani Wilmar. Yesterday, a Committee of Creditors (CoC) met to open the bids submitted by Adani Wilmar and Patanjali group in the fresh round of auction under the Swiss Challenge method. Ruchi Soya in a regulatory filing today confirmed that the CoC declared Adani Wilmar as H1 (highest) bidder and Patanjali stood as H2 (second highest). “We have been informed by the CoC that as per our bid, we are H2 and they will update us about the bid value of H1. We have to submit the revised and improved bid by June 16,” Patanjali spokesperson S K Tijarawala told PTI.
Billionaire Gautam Adani’s group company Adani Wilmar, which sells edible oil under Fortune brand, offered about Rs 6,000 crore to emerge as the highest bidder for acquisition of Ruchi Soya while Patanjali Ayurved bid for around Rs 5,700 crore, sources had said yesterday. However, Patanjali has a right to match the offer under the Swiss challenge method adopted by the lenders. The CoC has decided to conduct Swiss challenge method to maximise the asset value of Ruchi Soya. Yesterday, Tijarawala had raised question over the neutrality of the process citing media reports of resignation of law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as advisor of Adani Wilmar. The law firm is also advising the Ruchi Soya’s resolution professional.
“We are surprised and sought details from CoC. We have written letter on the issue of resignation of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas,” he had said. Sources had said lenders who have to recover about Rs 12,000 crore in outstanding loans from Ruchi Soya, were not happy with the initial bids, wherein Patanjali was the top bidder with an offer of around Rs 4,300 crore followed by Adani at Rs 3,300 crore. Under the Swiss Challenge method, Adani will get another chance to make an offer if Patanjali were to match or better its offer of about Rs 6,000 crore. Patanjali Ayurveda already has a tie-up with the Indore-based Ruchi Soya for edible oil refining and packaging and it wants to further expand into cooking oil business.
Ruchi Soya, which is facing the insolvency proceedings, has a total debt of about Rs 12,000 crore. The company has many manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star and Ruchi Gold. In December 2017, Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd entered into the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and Shailendra Ajmera was appointed as interim resolution professional (IRP). The appointment was made by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on the application of the creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank Ltd, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
Source: Financial Express