India: UltraTech Cement has made a new US$1.11bn bid directly to Binani Cement in order to buy it. Binani’s parent company Binani Industries is independently seeking to stop the insolvency proceedings of its cement subsidiary using the money offered by UltraTech Cement in a so called ‘comfort letter.’ In a statement UltraTech Cement said it had in principle agreed to buy 98.5% of the shares of Binani Cement.
However, a consortium led by Dalmia Bharat won an auction for Binani Cement with a bid of US$974m in early March 2018. The auction was run by the National Company Law Tribunal under insolvency proceedings. Binani Cement has since complained that the bidding process was not run on a transparent process, according to the Economic Times newspaper. It added that the ‘shortcomings’ in the insolvency process had prompted the company to look at other options. The on-going struggle by UltraTech Cement and Dalmia Bharat is expected to test local bankruptcy law.