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Liberty House joins bidding race for assets of debt-laden Bhushan Steel

Aditi Divekar/Mumbai 14 Feb 18 | 09:06 PM

UK-based Liberty House Group is set to bid for debt-laden Bhushan Steel and ABG Shipyard, both of which are facing insolvency. Sanjeev Gupta-led Liberty House is evaluating four Indian companies, in different sectors, undergoing insolvency resolution — two in steel, one in shipyard and one in automobile component.

“In case of Bhushan Steel, the resolution professional has invited us to bid for the asset. For ABG Shipyard, the company has revived its interest but is still evaluating the asset on various parameters," sources in the know said. “For ABG Shipyard, there were concerns even when Liberty was in talks with ABG for a stake buy (before ABG Shipyard underwent insolvency)," the sources added.

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Liberty House seems to be interested in National Company Law Tribunal-listed companies. It had submitted a revised bid for Amtek Auto on February 9. The London-based company bought Tata Steel's two pipe mills in Britain last year.

Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Steel and Tata Steel submitted their bids for Bhushan Steel early this month. Bhushan Steel, which has a 5.6-million tonne (mt) plant in Odisha, is saddled with a debt of Rs 44.4 billion.

“We will be submitting bids for Bhushan Steel in the next couple of weeks," said a Liberty House executive. He said the company was invited to submit bids for the unlisted Bhushan Power & Steel by an insolvency resolution professional.

However, an executive of Punjab National Bank (PNB), the lead lender to Bhushan Power & Steel, was not aware about the invitation extended to Liberty House. He said a meeting with the resolution professionals would be held in the next two to three days. 

Deloitte is the resolution professional for Bhushan Steel and Bhushan Power has been assigned to advisory firm BDO. 

Bhushan Steel is owned and controlled by Brij Bhushan Singal and his younger son Neeraj, while Bhushan Power and Steel is owned and controlled by Brij’s elder son Sanjay.

Unlisted Bhushan Power ran into trouble after its licenses for iron ore and coal mines were cancelled. 

It was allotted a coal mine with reserves of around 250 mt, which was later de-allocated in 2014. The iron ore mines were committed by the Odisha government. Two mines were allocated in 2012 and 2014 after the intervention of the Supreme Court.

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