Mumbai, Mar 13: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved has sweetened its offer for bankrupt Ruchi Soya to Rs 4,350 crore as upfront cash to banks. As earlier offered, it will also infuse Rs 1,700 crore into the company.
The revised offer will mean the lenders will have to write off 60 per cent of their dues. Adani Wilmar had reportedly offered Rs 4,300 crore in August last year, but withdrew this January, citing delay in the resolution process. Patanjali’s earlier offer was for Rs 4,100 crore. Adani had proposed an additional Rs 1,700 crore, as Patanjali did, for fund infusion.
Adani was declared the highest bidder but Patanjali objected, saying its offer was better. A source said the Adani offer was earlier selected as settlement of bank loans has higher weight in the evaluation (of the lenders) than the infusion of funds into the debtor company.
Indore-headquartered Ruchi Soya, once one of the largest processors of edible oils, filed for bankruptcy in December 2017. Its accumulated debt was Rs 12,000 crore; sales had fallen from Rs 31,500 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 12,000 crore in 2017-18.
A banking source said with the revised offer, the stage was finally set for acquisition of Ruchi Soya. It had attracted over two dozen bids. These were from private equity majors KKR and Aion Capital, beside consumer goods entities ITC, Godrej Agrovet and Emami, apart from Patanjali and Adani Wilmar.
Experts said the firm’s five port-based refining plants were the key reason for bidder interest.