May 31, 2019

Reliance Infratel Lenders Approach NCLT Against Interim Resolution Professional's Move To Admit Bankers’ Claims

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


A group of lenders which calls itself “the syndicate of direct lenders to RITL", with “direct exposure” to Reliance Infratel Limited (RITL) has petitioned the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against the interim resolution professional’s admission of claims made by other bankers of the company.

Incidentally, lawyers who represent Doha Bank as well as three other banks, call themselves as “the syndicate of direct lenders to RITL”.

It may be recalled that, based on invoked corporate guarantees issued by RITL in favour of Reliance Communication, its bankers’ claims were reported to be around Rs 8,000.

The syndicate of direct lenders to RITL alleged that the admission of claims made by RTIL’s bankers diluted voting shares of the syndicate in RITL. They requested the NCLT against allowing the committee of RTIL’s creditors (CoC) which comprises other bankers who had also disbursed loans to RTIL, to take any major decision.

The syndicate petitioned the NCLT to allow them to present their case at early as possible fearing that approving a new resolution professional for the CoC would severely prejudice the interests of the syndicate.

Earlier, lawyers representing the petitioners or the syndicate stated that they had lent RITL around Rs 1,400 crore, while the State Bank of India’s direct exposure stood at Rs 900 crore and the exposure of other operational creditors was at Rs 300 crore.

Due to this breakdown, it was suggested that the syndicate’s voting share within the RITL stood at 55%, while that of SBI was at 45%.

The petitioners argued that after the addition of admitted claims worth Rs 8,000 crore, based on bankers claims, the debt had gone up to Rs 10,600 crore.

After the addition of this debt, the syndicate stated that their total voting share got diluted from 45% to 15%.

Their counsel stated that under Section 186 (5) of the Companies Act, the addition of these claims were essentially void, adding that corporate guarantees were invoked without any consent from RITL’s lenders.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai bench of the NCLT adjourned the matter for an urgent hearing on May 31, after directing the parties concerned to file their replies by then.

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