Metal giants in race for Uttam Galva

(This story originally appeared in on Jan 04, 2021)

MUMBAI: Metal billionaires Lakshmi Mittal, brothers Sajjan Jindal & Naveen Jindal, and Anil Agarwal (of Vedanta) have shown an interest in Uttam Galva Steels, which has been put on the block by lenders. Mittal has the highest exposure to Uttam Galva’s liabilities of Rs 9,742 crore, followed by other financial and operational creditors.

Phoenix Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC), owned by Kotak Mahindra, has also thrown in its hat for Uttam Galva, for which the initial bid deadline ended last month. The ARC too has an exposure to the 35-year-old, Mumbai-based company’s liabilities.

In March 2020, State Bank of India (SBI) had initiated bankruptcy proceedings against Uttam Galva at the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after it defaulted on an external commercial borrowing of $6.7 million. Six months later, the NCLT admitted SBI’s petition and appointed Milind Kasodkar of law firm KMDS & Associates to oversee Uttam Galva’s affairs and conduct its bankruptcy proceedings.


Uttam Galva, founded by Rajendra Miglani, is among the largest makers of value-added steel in western India with facilities located at Khopoli, about 75km from Mumbai. Value-added steel is used in automobiles, aerospace and consumer durable industries. The company posted a loss of Rs 140 crore on a revenue of Rs 277 crore in the first six months of FY20.

While Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Steel and Naveen Jindal’s JSPL declined to comment on the report, Mittal’s local unit ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India and Vedanta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Phoenix ARC could not be reached for comments.

Vedanta, said sources, has routed its interest in Uttam Galva through ESL Steel, a company it acquired through the bankruptcy route in 2018. ArcelorMittal was once a co-promoter of Uttam Galva, but later sold its stake in the company to the founders so that it could bid for other stressed Indian steel assets that were being auctioned under the bankruptcy proceedings. It also had to take on the bulk of the stressed Uttam Galva’s debt to be eligible to bid for bankrupt Indian steel assets. It subsequently won Essar Steel, now known as ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, through the bankruptcy route.

ArcelorMittal through two entities has an exposure of Rs 7,922 crore to Uttam Galva’s liabilities. It has 87.2% vote among financial creditors — 71.5% through ArcelorMittal India and 15.9% through AMNS Luxembourg.

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