Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) asking it to direct Ruchi Soya to consider its offer, according to a report .
Patanjali filed its plea on January 23 in the Mumbai bench of the insolvency tribunal, as per the report. The next hearing for the matter is slated for February 7.
"We have filed an application with the NCLT for it to direct the Ruchi Soya lenders to consider our offer," a Patanjali Ayurveda spokesperson told the paper.
Patanjali's move comes after Adani Wilmar expressed in writing that it wants to withdraw its offer citing 'delays' in the resolution process.
Adani Wilmar was declared as the highest bidder in August 2018 to acquire Ruchi Soya after a long-drawn battle with Patanjali. According to the report, the resolution plan was voted by 96 percent lenders as the preferred one in August but has not been approved by the NCLT.
In December, however, the company had written to the resolution professional (RP) Shailendra Ajmera regarding significant delays in the resolution process, which was leading to deterioration of the assets.
Adani Wilmar had offered to pay Rs 5,474 crore for Ruchi Soya, of which Rs 4,300 crore was to go to lenders. At that time, Patanjali offered to pay Rs 5,765 crore, of which Rs 4,065 crore was to go to lenders.
Patanjali is said to have expressed its interest to RP and the lenders. The company reportedly said it was ready to match Adani's offer given a chance.
Ruchi Soya, which is facing the insolvency proceedings, has a total debt of about Rs 12,000 crore. The company has many manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star and Ruchi Gold. The company entered into the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) in December 2017.
Ruchi Soya’s acquisition by Patanjali may not only help the company expand its current business but also play a vital role in achieving Ramdev’s ambitious plan of doubling revenue, which the company failed to do in fiscal 2018.
The Ramdev-founded company has been struggling to grow during the past year, especially after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), coupled with lingering effects of demonetisation. Its revenues declined about 10 percent to Rs 8,148 crore in fiscal 2018, primarily because of its inability to adapt in time to the GST regime and develop supply chain infrastructure.