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Jul, 11 2018

Patanjali still in race to acquire Ruchi Soya: Acharya Balkrishna

Adani Wilmar, which sells cooking oil under the Fortune brand, and Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali are in the fray to acquire debt-ridden Ruchi Soya.

Patanjali Ayurved will not back out from the race to acquire bankruptcy-bound Ruchi Soya and explore all options, including legal, to clinch the deal, its Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna said today.

Adani Wilmar, which sells cooking oil under the Fortune brand, and Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali are in the fray to acquire debt-ridden Ruchi Soya.

Adani has emerged as the highest bidder (H1) with an offer of about Rs 6,000 crore, while Patanjali's bid was worth around Rs 5,700 crore.

After Adani Wilmar emerged as H1, Patanjali Ayurved sought clarification from the RP (resolution professional) of Ruchi Soya related to eligibility of Adani Group to participate in the bidding process. It also sought to know the parameters adopted by the RP to declare Adani Wilmar as the highest bidder.

The Haridwar-based firm has also questioned the appointment of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as the RP's legal advisor as the said law firm was already advising Adani Group.

"We are waiting for the reply," Balkrishna said on the sidelines of an event here.

Asked whether the company would move court, he said: "We will not back out. We will do everything."

Last week, sources had said the RP sought 8-10 days' time to reply to the clarification sought by Patanjali.

Patanjali was asked to submit a revised bid by June 16 to match or better the highest offer of Rs 6,000 crore by Adani Wilmar under the Swiss Challenge system adopted by the RP and the committee of creditors.

However, Patanjali wrote to the RP seeking clarifications instead of submitting a fresh bid.

Under the Swiss Challenge method, Adani will get another chance to make an offer if Patanjali's revised bid exceeds the offer made by the former.

Patanjali Ayurved already has a tie-up with the Indore-based Ruchi Soya for edible oil refining and packaging and it wants to further expand its cooking oil business.

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.

In December 2017, Ruchi Soya Industries entered into the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and Shailendra Ajmera was appointed as the RP.

The appointment was made by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on the application of the creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

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