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Jaypee Infratech lenders finally decide to put NBCC's revised resolution plan to vote

The voting process would start on Thursday at 9 am and end on Sunday at 5 pm

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

Bowing to pressure from homebuyers, lenders of embattled firm Jaypee Infratech finally decided to put to vote the revised resolution plan submitted by the government’s construction arm NBCC from May 16 to May 19, sources said.

This was decided at the Committee of Creditors meeting held in the Capital on May 14. The voting process would start on Thursday at 9 am and end on Sunday at 5 pm, sources said, adding the results will be declared on May 20.

Kuldeep Verma, the homebuyers’ representative in the CoC, firmly insisted that the NBCC plan was viable and should be put to vote without further delay while lenders were of the view that it was not feasible. He also informed the committee that thousands of home buyers were in favour of voting on NBCC’s revised bid, sources said.

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Homebuyers welcomed the decision. “After years of suffering at the hands of Jaypee and courts, the most important milestone has arrived – CoC has agreed to put NBCC resolution plan to vote,” they said.

Bankers who participated in the CoC on Tuesday were opposed to putting the NBCC's bid to vote and were in favour of further negotiations. They even made a plea before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal for a stay on the voting process but the NCLAT refused to stay voting by the creditors.

Sources said bankers had even proposed taking control of Jaypee Infratech and roping in NBCC as Project Management Consultant (PMC) to complete over 20,000 delayed flats. But they apparently did not have approval from their board for the plan, sources said.

Lenders have been opposed to the NBCC’s bid as it had ruled out any changes to certain clauses that include exemption from tax liability in its revised offer.

Jaypee Infratech's Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) Anuj Jain too favoured that the voting process for NBCC’s revised offer should go on.

Home buyers have nearly 60 percent voting rights in the CoC but bankers expressed their dissent. A minimum 66 percent vote of financial creditors (bankers and homebuyers) is required for the approval of any resolution plan.

Majority of home buyers are likely to vote in favour of NBCC bid but many also fear that lenders may reject it, abstain from it or perhaps opt for liquidation as they do not want to take up to 60 percent hair-cut against their claim of Rs 9,782 crore, sources said.

On May 13, a day before the Committee of Creditors (CoC) meeting, the government’s construction arm NBCC decided against withdrawing certain clauses such as the exemption from tax liability, sources said.

At the last meeting, lenders had flagged serious concerns about the state-owned firm's conditional bid to take over embattled Jaypee Infratech and sought NBCC's reply by May 13.

In its revised offer, NBCC had proposed infusion of Rs 200 crore equity capital, transfer of 950 acres of land worth Rs 5,000 crore to banks and completing construction of flats by July 2023 to settle an outstanding claim of Rs 23,723 crore of financial creditors.

But it had put several conditions for the implementation of its plan, including a demand to extinguish an estimated income-tax liability of Rs 33,000 crore over a period of 30 years arising out of the transfer of land parcels from Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) to Jaypee Group.

On last Friday, lenders had written to the government’s construction arm seeking clarifications on certain relief and concessions put forward by it in its resolution plan.

 "NBCC has decided not to dilute the clauses on an exemption from income tax liability as well as taking consent of development authorities for the transfer of businesses. It has also not agreed to change its proposal that lenders should be given unsold flats in NBCC fails to sell them in the market due to prevailing real estate market conditions," sources had told Moneycontrol on Monday.

Sources said NBCC will not withdraw the conditions mentioned in its bid as asked by the lenders since the company would need to get its board's approval, which will, however, not meet by May 13.

Lenders had sought clarifications from the NBCC after Jaypee Infratech's Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) Anuj Jain had written to the CoC that NBCC's revised bid was conditional as the state-owned firm has stated that the plan would not be binding on it unless key relief measures such as extinguishing of income tax liability and a dispensation from seeking consent of YEIDA (Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority) for any business transfer is granted, sources had said.

The CoC is considering NBCC's offer after it rejected Mumbai-based Suraksha Realty's bid on May 3 through an e-voting process under the insolvency law.

Earlier, the lenders had not allowed a vote on the NBCC bid citing lack of approvals from the government departments. NBCC later received all mandatory approvals.

The court-mandated deadline for completing the resolution plan for Jaypee Infratech ended on May 6 and the CoC has sought an extension of the deadline. The Allahabad bench of NCLT has posted the matter for hearing on May 21 and maintained status quo till then.

Besides NBCC, Adani Group has also shown interest to bid for Jaypee Infratech but creditors have not sought resolution plan from Adani so far.

Jaypee Group's promoters also have put in a bid, under Section 12A of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, to retain control of the company.

In 2017, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted the application by an IDBI Bank-led consortium seeking resolution of Jaypee Infratech. In the first round of insolvency proceedings, the Rs 7,350 crore bid of Lakshdeep, part of Suraksha group, was rejected by lenders as it was found to be substantially lower than the company's net worth and assets.

In October 2018, the IRP started a fresh initiative to revive Jaypee Infratech on NCLT's direction.

Jaypee Infratech is developing about 32,000 flats, of which it has delivered 9,500 units.

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First Published on May 14, 2019 10:21 pm
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