NCLT approves Piramal's offer on certain conditions

NCLT approves Piramals offer on certain conditions

Mumbai: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday gave its approval to Piramal Group's bid for bankrupt- Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), subject to certain conditions.

The tribunal's Mumbai-bench, chaired by H P Chaturvedi and Ravikumar Duraisamy, said the approval is subject to the final judgement from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) and the Supreme Court's judgement on Kapil Wadhawan in the matter.

In its order, NCLT asked DHFL's Committee of Creditors (CoC) to consider giving more money to small fixed deposit holders under the approved resolution plan.

"We are not remanding the plan back to CoC, we respect their commercial wisdom," it said. NCLT also rejected former DHFL promoter Kapil Wadhawan's plea to get access to a copy of the resolution plan. On May 25, NCLAT stayed the direction of NCLT asking the lenders of DHFL to consider the offer by Wadhawan.

The appellate tribunal had also clarified that its order should not come in the way for NCLT to decide on approval for the resolution plan selected by the CoC. NCLAT's direction had come on an urgent petition moved by the Union Bank of India on behalf of the CoC.

On May 19, NCLT asked the RBI-appointed administrator of DHFL to present the settlement plan offered by Wadhawan to the CoC. In January this year, the CoC voted in favour of selling DHFL to the Piramal Group under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Last year, Wadhawan had made his settlement offer to the CoC. The offer was rejected by the creditors, citing lack of credibility and the valuations attached to the proposed asset sales. In the plan, Wadhawan had proposed to repay lenders by selling assets.

In November 2019, RBI had referred DHFL -- then the third-largest pure-play mortgage lender -- for resolution under the Code. DHFL had gone bankrupt with more than Rs 90,000 crore in debt to various lenders, including banks, mutual funds and individual investors who kept fixed deposits with the company.

Moreover, Debt-ridden mortgage firm DHFL's shares would be delisted from stock exchanges post acquisition by Piramal Capital and Housing Finance, which has emerged as the successful bidder for the company.

According to sources, shares of DHFL would be delisted post acquisition as per the IBC guidelines and Sebi delisting norms.

Besides, sources said, the company may merge itself with DHFL for which call would be taken after all legal and regulatory clearances are obtained.

Meanwhile, Piramal in a statement said "we are pleased with the judgment today by the NCLT for approving our resolution plan for DHFL. This follows the endorsement of 94 per cent of lenders, and the subsequent approvals from RBI and CCI, and reiterates the strength and quality of our bid."

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