SBI moves insolvency plea against Jaiprakash Associates before NCLT

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Country’s biggest lender SBI has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Jaiprakash Associates Ltd for initiation of insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden company.

State Bank of India (SBI) in its plea filed before the Allahabad bench of NCLT has claimed a total default of Rs 6,893.15 crore as on September 15, 2022 from Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL).

Besides, SBI has also proposed the name of Bhuvan Madan as interim resolution professional of the company.

When contacted, JAL said the company has divested cement plants to repay loan and it will take further steps to address concerns of its lenders.

“The present petition is being filed by the financial creditor, State Bank of India, who has granted the financial facilities to the corporate debtor (JAL). Total amount of debt due and payable by the corporate debtor as on 15.09.2022 is Rs 6,892.47 crore with future interest and incidental expenses and costs,” it said.

According to SBI, there was “persistent defaults” by JAL and was again remained “irregular, despite the restructuring” throughout in making the payments, it said.

“In view of the aforesaid facts, it is evident that a default has occurred on part of JAL whereby the corporate debtor has failed to pay the financial debt owed to the financial creditor and hence, the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process is liable to be initiated,” the petition said.

SBI also requested NCLT to put a moratorium against JAL as per the section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

JAL, the flagship firm of the debt-ridden Jaypee Group, was part of the Reserve Bank of India’s list of 26 big loan defaulters to commercial banks for initiating bankruptcy proceedings in August 2017.

Earlier, private sector lender ICICI Bank had also filed the insolvency petition in September 2018. However, the matter is still pending before the Allahabad bench.

Several Jaypee Group companies namely Jaypee Infratech and Andhra Cement are already facing insolvency proceedings before NCLT.

In a statement to PTI, Jaypee Group Chairman Manoj Gaur said: “We are continuously divesting assets to repay loans. Our efforts in this directions are continuing. Under RERA supervision, homes for homebuyers are being constructed. JAL has been working continuously with objective to repay loans and accordingly, steps have been taken time to time to reduce loans. We shall keep addressing lenders concern.”

In 2016, JAL has entered into a nearly Rs 17,000-crore deal with Aditya Birla Group firm UltraTech Cement to sell its cement business having a total capacity of 17.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) spread across Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh.

However, there are reports that JAL is yet to receive Rs 1,000 crore from the deal with UltraTech Cement.

Jaypee group’s other companies such as Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) and Andhra Cements are already facing insolvency proceedings and if the Allahabad bench admits the latest one, this would be the third firm from the group.

JIL went into the insolvency process in August 2017 after the NCLT admitted an application by an IDBI Bank-led consortium.

In June last year, Mumbai-based Suraksha group received the approval of financial creditors and homebuyers to take over the JIL, raising hopes for around 20,000 homebuyers of getting possession of their dream flats.

However, NCLT is yet to approve Suraksha’s plan and hearing is going at the Delhi based Principal Bench of the tribunal.

Source: Economic Times

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