THE MITTALS CASE

Lakshmi-Mittal-4

The bankruptcy of Essar Steel Ltd out of $7 billion in debt is the main cause of drama in India. A 420 billion rupees [$5.8 billion] as offer for the asset launched by ArcelorMittal on Monday is considered quite much. Their safe guarded principal claims if secured by creditors, would bring relief to the system of banking by almost $200 billion as loans. It is quite ironical when a profitable market is in place and investors fail to turn up. This is quite a similar situation with the ArcelorMittal case. The turn of events is however well timed as the rupee is quite low in the market despite the emerging market sell-off. An acceptance by India by AccelorMittal currency offer which is higher by 50 billion rupees would be quite remarkable.

Lakshami Mittal, a London based Indian billionaire is being coerced to pay up $1 billion to settle other two unconnected non-performing loans to banks in India. He likes being on the limelight at his country and as a result, he will not be required to pay anything to Essar’s 10 million tons-a year plant. India’s insolvency tribunal put that as a law and hence Mittal had to follow. He is however challenging the Supreme Court’s ruling on basis that the eligibility norms are not applied harmoniously. Numetal is being permitted to stay in the race for Essar by removing the previous ineligible founders. This are the Ruia family. Mittal has sold its shares in Uttam Galva Steels Ltd which still insists that pays the company’s nonperforming loans.

The banking regulator in India’s banking sector was aiming that by June last year, the country new insolvency law would keep its promise to resolve big ticket cooperates and bankruptcy within nine months. Its 15 months down the line and Essar looks like it will have a new bidding process. India’s new law on bankruptcy will by time become strong as it gets tested by hard eventualities. The precedent that has been set by Essar will send a signal to Ruias and other maharajas on the risk of loan settlement failure. This may result to loss of crown jewels. The value of Essar Steel has gone up recently due to the industries improvement in economics. The plant is also a strategic interest to Mittal whereby his rivals built a sizable business in his home country. India’s economy in general needs more action than talks.

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