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To beat Bain-led consortium, UltraTech raises bid for Binani to Rs 66 bn

George Smith Alexander | Bloomberg/ 14 Mar 18 | 07:46 PM

Workers walk in front of an UltraTech concrete mixture truck at the construction site of a commercial complex on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad | Photo: Reuters

UltraTech Cement Ltd. has increased its bid for Binani Cement Ltd. in an email to the resolution professional overseeing the company’s bankruptcy proceedings as it tries to beat a consortium backed by Bain Capital that’s in the lead.

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The company has raised its offer to about Rs 66 billion ($1 billion) from about Rs 62 billion earlier, Chief Financial Officer Atul Daga said in an interview on Wednesday. UltraTech, controlled by billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, is competing with the consortium led by Dalmia Bharat Ltd., which has been chosen as the highest bidder. Vijaykumar Iyer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP is the resolution professional overseeing the bidding.

“We are not happy with the way the process has been dealt with," Daga said. “It’s not transparent and equitable. Specially when there was only a marginal difference in both the bids, the lenders should have called both the bidders to maximize the value."

UltraTech, India’s biggest cement maker, has approached the National Company Law Tribunal and the matter will be heard on March 19, he said. Deloitte did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Dalmia Bharat had put in a bid of about 63.5 billion rupees, people familiar with the matter said last month. The consortium’s proposal included offering about a 20 percent stake in Binani Cement to its lenders, the people said. Dalmia Bharat made a joint offer with India Resurgence Fund, which is backed by Bain Capital Credit and local conglomerate Piramal Enterprises Ltd., the people said.

UltraTech’s earlier offer would rise to about 72 billion once working capital is included, Daga said. “Our resolution plan is balanced," he said. “We are also paying the trade creditors."

UltraTech is also unhappy that past industry issues with India’s competition commission were considered when scoring the bids, Daga said. The company has made two acquisitions since 2012 and both have been approved by the commission, he said.

UltraTech has served notice to the resolution professional asking for bidding details, Business Standard reported March 7, citing unnamed sources.

Binani has secured lenders of about 40 billion rupees and unsecured lenders of about 25 billion rupees.

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