The Supreme Court, on November 15, delivered a landmark judgement on Essar Steel, bringing an end to the biggest stressed-asset case under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
The deck may be finally clear for ArcelorMittal to take over Essar Steel.
Here is how the case fared, over more than two years.
June 12, 2017: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) identifies 12 accounts for resolution under IBC
June 27, 2017: SBI and Standard Chartered Bank filed petition against Essar Steel in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Ahmedabad bench
July 4, 2017: Essar Steel challenges RBI decision in Gujarat High Court, which later dismisses it.
August 2, 2017: NCLT admits Essar Steel for insolvency proceedings under the IBC . Satish Kumar Gupta appointed as Resolution Professional (RP).
October 2, 2017: Expression Of Interest (EOIs) invited.
November 23, 2017: Section 29A is introduced. It prevents defaulter promoters and related parties from bidding for stressed assets. The Ruisa, Essar Steel promoters, is now barred from bidding.
February 12, 2018: Numetal, a JV between Rewant Ruia – son of Essar co-founder Ravi Ruia – and Russia’s VTB Bank, and ArcelorMittal submit bids.
March 2018: RP finds both bids ineligible, under Section 29A. Both Numetal and ArcelorMittal move NCLT challenging the rejection.
April 2018: RP calls for fresh bids. Later, NCLT Ahmedabad asks him to re-examine the first round of bids. Both bidders put in fresh bids.
September 2018: NCLT holds Numetal’s bid valid after Ruia exits JV. ArcelorMittal asked to clear dues of Rs 7,000 crore of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron.
ArcelorMittal revises offer to Rs 42,000 crore, higher than Numetal’s Rs 37,000 crore. Later, Numetal goes to SC and challenges NCLAT decision allowing ArcelorMittal to clear dues.
October 2018: The Supreme Court asks Numetal and ArcelorMittal to submit revised bids after clearing dues. Essar Steel Asia Holdings (ESAHL) offers a settlement proposal of Rs 54,389 crore. But it’s too late as CoC votes in favour of ArcelorMittal- Nippon Steel bid.
November 2018: Operational Creditors (OCs) challenge ArcelorMittal’s plan. Standard Chartered also files petition.
January 2019: NCLT says Ruias' Rs 54,000-cr bid 'not maintainable'
March 2019: NCLT approves ArcelorMittal’s Rs 42,000 crore bid for Essar Steel. Prashant Ruia and other Essar Steel directors challenge NCLT, say ArcelorMittal ineligible under Section 29A of IBC
July 2019: NCLAT increases share of operational creditors. Banks approach SC to challenge NCLAT order. Prolonged hearings begin.
November 2019: SC sets aside NCLAT order and gives upper hand to banks.