Adani gets lenders nod for US$858m acquisition of edible oil manufacturer Ruchi Soya

ASIA – Adani group, owner of edible oil brand Fortune has received approval from lenders to acquire India’s largest edible oil manufacturer Ruchi Soya for US$857.93 million, ET Retail reported.

Race to take over the debt-ridden edible oil firm also involved Indian consumer goods company Patanjali group but the committee of creditors (CoC) approved Adani Wilmar’s, Adani group firm bid with 96% of the votes.

Ruchi Soya is said to be having a total debt of about US$1.71 billion, faced with insolvency proceedings.

It entered into the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) in December 2017 leading to the appointment of Shailendra Ajmera was appointed as the RP.

The appointment was made by the NCLT on the application of the creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

The bid involved US$614.5mn repayment to financial creditors and over US$242.9mn equity infusion in the company.

Yoga guru Ramdev-backed Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd., had offered US$581.01 million to financial creditors and about US$242.97mn worth of equity.

Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali group, the manufacturer of mineral and herbal products came in second with US$815.31mn offer.

The resolution awaits approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

Biased nod

In regard to the decision, Patanjali has sought to know the parameters adopted by the RP to declare Adani Wilmar as the highest bidder, questioning the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as the RP’s legal advisor as the said law firm was already advising Adani Group.

It also had sought clarification from the RP (resolution professional) of Ruchi Soya related to eligibility of Adani Group to participate in the bidding process.

Reports have it that Patanjali was asked to submit a revised bid by June 16 to match or better the highest offer of US$858mn by Adani Wilmar under the Swiss Challenge system adopted by the RP and the committee of creditors but the bidder wrote to the RP seeking clarifications instead of submitting a fresh bid.

Ruchi Soya has many manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star and Ruchi Gold.

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