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DNA Money Exclusive: ArcelorMittal to gobble Essar Steel for Rs 52,000 crore

While Rs 42,000 crore will be paid to the creditors of Essar Steel, about Rs 2,000 crore will be paid to take over Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure

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DNA Money Exclusive: ArcelorMittal to gobble Essar Steel for Rs 52,000 crore
Lakshmi Mittal
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Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal and its consortium will cough up Rs 52,000 crore to take over Ruia-promoted Essar Steel and Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure, two sources close to the development said.

While Rs 42,000 crore will be paid to the creditors of the debt-laden Essar Steel, about Rs 2,000 crore will be paid to take over Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure. The ArcelorMittal consortium will further invest Rs 8,000 crore in Essar Steel.

The negotiations to set up a resolution plan with the committee of creditors (CoC) took place over the weekend, a source said. The lenders to Essar Steel will vote on this resolution plan on Monday.

Though the Supreme Court ruling made ArcelorMittal's bid of Rs 35,000 crore for the Hazira-based Essar Steel plant eligible, an upped amount was necessary to keep the CoC appeased. The company has agreed to sweeten its offer to stave off possible conflicts among lenders, which may impact the voting slated for Monday.

This will be the first major case where the banks will be able to recoup more than 100% of the outstanding non-performing assets (NPAs) on their books. On most other occasions under the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), banks have taken a haircut anywhere between 30% and 80%.

"The negotiations are over and the resolution plan will be put for voting on Monday. With this deal, ArcelorMittal will be bringing in Rs 60,000 crore into the country. This includes the dues of Rs 7,500 crore the company has already settled for the NPAs of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron where Mittal is a shareholder," said a member of the CoC.

Odisha Slurry, which runs a 253-km pipeline supplying raw material to Essar Steel's Odisha plant, will also be part of the deal, the source added.

This will put an end to months of anxiety that banks had while the two corporate giants, ArcelorMittal and NuMetal, bickered over grabbing Ruias' ailing steel business through litigations that ran right up to the Supreme Court.

In the second round of bidding in April, which the Supreme Court approved, ArcelorMittal had offered an upfront payment of Rs 35,000 and further fund infusion of Rs 8,000 crore in staggered payments. Subsequently, the company said it would offer Rs 42,000 crore upfront. Vedanta, which had also placed its bid on April 2 this year, had offered Rs 35,000 crore and a staggered fund infusion of Rs 6,000 crore.

Supreme Court on October 4 had granted one more opportunity to ArcelorMittal and NuMetal to bid for Essar Steel if they cleared the NPA dues of their related corporate debtors within two weeks. Following this directive from the apex court, ArcelorMittal paid off Rs 7,469 crore to creditors of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron, thus making it eligible to acquire the debt-strapped Essar Steel. NuMetal failed to clear the dues and was thus put off the bid table.

With Arcelor Mittal being selected as the highest bidder, the Ruias will end their innings in the steel business.

In 2002, Essar Steel was selected by bankers for a long-term restructuring under the corporate debt restructuring with a debt of Rs 2,800 crore. After a few years, the company exited, but again got into issues in 2015 when the RBI audits revealed that the account was weak. Later, Essar Steel was shortlisted as one among the dirty dozen companies that RBI asked banks to resolve under the NCLT.

THE CONTOURS

  • While Rs 42,000 crore will be paid to the creditors of Essar Steel, about Rs 2,000 crore will be paid to take over Odisha Slurry Pipeline Infrastructure
     
  • The ArcelorMittal consortium will further invest Rs 8,000 crore in Essar Steel
     
  • This will be the first major case where the banks will be able to recoup more than 100% of the outstanding NPAs
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