Most creditors of India’s Binani Cement Ltd., which is being sold under the country’s insolvency process, will support the bid by an investor group backed by Bain Capital, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The consortium led by Dalmia Bharat Ltd., which was competing with billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s UltraTech Cement Ltd., was chosen by almost all the lenders as the preferred bidder, according to the people. The banks will send their decision to the National Company Law Tribunal for final approval, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
The Dalmia Bharat consortium bid about 63.5 billion rupees ($980 million), which included a close to 20 percent stake in Binani Cement to lenders, Bloomberg News reported last month. It made a joint offer with India Resurgence Fund, which is backed by Bain Capital Credit and local conglomerate Piramal Enterprises Ltd., people with knowledge of the matter have said. A spokeswoman for Dalmia declined to comment.
A successful sale may lure buyers for assets in Asia’s third-largest economy as authorities push lenders to clean up $210 billion of stressed debt. The central bank has already asked commercial lenders to resolve bad loans of the 40 biggest defaulters within a year as overdue borrowings hamper fresh investment and slow economic growth.
The process could be delayed as UltraTech, India’s biggest cement maker, has approached the NCLT with complaints on how the Binani sale process was run. A hearing will be held March 19 to consider UltraTech’s case, Chief Financial Officer Atul Daga said in an interview on Wednesday. UltraTech has also written to the resolution professional overseeing the Binani sale, offering to increase its bid to about 69 billion rupees from about 62 billion rupees earlier, he said.