Patanjali still interested in Ruchi Soya, lead bidder Adani Wilmar raises asset concerns
New Delhi: Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved is still interested in taking over bankruptcy-bound Ruchi Soya after the highest bidder Adani Wilmar wrote to resolution professional raising concerns over deterioration of asset quality of the edible oil firm due to delay in completion of the insolvency process.
In December 2017, Indore-based Ruchi Soya Industries entered the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP). Shailendra Ajmera was appointed resolution professional (RP) by the NCLT on the application of creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
According to sources, Adani Wilmar, which was declared as the highest bidder in August to acquire Ruchi Soya with around Rs 6,000 crore offer after long drawn battle with Patanjali, has written to the RP regarding significant delays in resolution process, which is leading to deterioration of the assets.
The company has asked the RP why should it buy the deteriorated assets at the same price, they said, adding that the process was getting delayed as Patanjali moved to the NCLT Mumbai challenging the lenders decision.
When contacted, S K Tijarawala, the spokesperson of Patanjali that stood second in the bidding process, said it is interested in acquiring Ruchi Soya.
"Yes, we are interested. If we are allowed, then we are ready for the takeover of Ruchi Soya as it is," he said. Patanjali has written to the commitee of creditors (CoC) that it would match the offer.
Stating that the assets of Ruchi Soya have deteriorated, Tijarawala said, "We are still interested in taking over of Ruchi Soya".
When contacted, an Adani Wilmar spokesperson did not comment on the issue.
Patanjali Ayurved has approached the NCLT challenging the decision by Ruchi Soya's lenders to approve Adani Wilmar's Rs 6,000 crore takeover bid.
Patanjali group came second with a Rs 5,700 crore bid.
Meanwhile, Ruchi Soya, in a filing to the BSE, on Monday said that the "resolution plan submitted by the successful resolution applicant is currently pending for approval before NCLT, Mumbai." The next date of hearing is January 15, it added.
Ruchi Soya 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.
Adani Wilmar was selected by the CoC after two-rounds of bidding.
Before moving the NCLT, Patanjali Ayurved had questioned the eligibility of Adani Group to participate in the bidding process. It had also sought to know the parameters adopted by the RP to declare Adani Wilmar as the highest bidder. The Haridwar-based firm also had questioned the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as the RP's legal advisor as the said law firm was already advising