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Birla's Last-Minute $1.1 Billion Bid Entertained by Lenders

Updated on
  • Creditors willing to support UltraTech’s offer for cement firm
  • Banks could give backing if approvals obtained, deposit paid

Binani Cement Ltd. lenders will entertain a local tycoon’s last-minute $1.1 billion bid for the insolvent Indian company, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The committee of creditors decided at a meeting Wednesday it would be willing to support the proposal, which would see Binani Cement sold to billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s UltraTech Cement Ltd., according to the people. The banks plan to tell Binani Cement’s parent company that they could give their backing if it first obtains relevant approvals, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Lenders will require Binani Industries Ltd. to pay them an initial 7.5 billion rupees ($115 million) and provide a bank guarantee covering the remaining bid amount, one of the people said. The plan would need approval from India’s National Company Law Tribunal, according to another person.

The move would overturn a decision the lenders made last month to support an offer from a rival consortium that includes Dalmia Bharat Ltd., a domestic competitor of UltraTech, and a Bain Capital-backed fund. After creditors picked their preferred bidder, UltraTech made a higher offer directly to Binani Industries.

Binani Industries’s shares rose as much as 5.6 percent in Mumbai on Thursday, set for the biggest gain since Dec. 28, and UltraTech advanced about 2 percent.

UltraTech’s latest bid for Binani Cement was conditional on insolvency proceedings being terminated. The National Company Law Tribunal has adjourned a case filed by UltraTech to April 9 and asked Binani Cement lenders to form an opinion on the offer by then.

The situation is fluid, and there’s no certainty the deal will be completed as currently envisioned, the people said.

Representatives for UltraTech and Dalmia Bharat didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for the resolution professional overseeing the Binani Cement sale, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, declined to comment.

— With assistance by Subramaniam Sharma

(Updates with shares in fifth paragraph.)
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