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With NBCC going passive on Jaypee Infratech, is the firm going to Adani?

Adani Group seems to be the only contender in the fray that has not only placed a lucrative offer on the table
New Delhi: With reports suggesting that state-run NBCC is no longer interested in acquiring debt-ridden real estate firm Jaypee Infratech, Adani Group seems to be the only contender in the fray that has not only placed a lucrative offer on the table but is also pursuing the cause with a lot of bullishness.

Adani’s offer

Adani Infrastructure and Development (AIDPL) had told Jaypee Infratech’s Committee of Creditors (CoC) last week that if it is allowed to take over, it will complete the unfinished housing projects in four years. Jaypee Infratech’s resolution professional (RP) Anuj Jain had told the CoC at the last meeting that AIDPL has been in regular touch with him and is keenly following up on its Expression of Interest (EoI), sources had said.

NBCC backs off

In stark contrast to Adani’s persistence, NBCC seems to have chosen to be passive in its pursuit of Jaypee Infratech, with sources hinting that the state-run firm has dropped the plan. This is despite the fact that Jaypee Infratech homebuyers held a protest just a week back, urging the government to intervene in support of NBCC’s bid. According to sources, after the latest round of voting, where NBCC’s bid was rejected by lenders led by IDBI Bank, the management at the public sector undertaking (PSU) is not keen on moving ahead on that present because it feels “there is no possible chance of unanimity among the home buyers and the banks.” “Such are the differences that, if the banks are ‘north pole,’ home buyers are ‘south pole.’ The only possible way forward for Jaypee seems to be liquidation,” said an NBCC official. “We are not aggressive. If we were aggressive, our lawyer would have been there at the NCLAT now,” the official added.

Could change in guard at NBCC have had an impact?

A change in guard at the Navratna company could have also had an impact on the attitude with which NBCC is now approaching the Jaypee Infratech acquisition. NBCC’s former Chairman and Managing Director Anoop Kumar Mittal was known to be bullish with his intention to acquire the battered real estate firm. However, he relinquished his office in March this year after he was denied an extension till the date of his superannuation in January 2020. He was succeeded by a bureaucrat Shiv Das Meena, who took charge as the public sector company’s CMD on April 5.

CoC could invite fresh EoI

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the outcome of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT) hearing on the IDBI Bank’s plea over NBCC bid on July 2. The CoC could then invite fresh expression of interest for Jaypee Infratech.