Race for RCap down to two players; Torrent offers highest bid


MUMBAI: Torrent Group has emerged as the highest bidder for debt-laden Reliance Capital in the first phase of the auction that was conducted on Wednesday, according to two officials familiar with the matter.

Ahmedabad-based Torrent Group bid 8,640 crore for acquiring the Anil Ambani Group company.

The only other company left in the race now, Hinduja Group, offered 8,110 crore. Oaktree and Cosmea-Piramal consortium decided to withdraw last-minute from the race, the officials added.

“The committee of creditors will need to study the final details of the resolution plan including the cash component being offered by Torrent and Hinduja before finalizing the winning bid,” said one of the officials.

The initial bidding round saw Torrent offer 4,500 crore and Hinduja offer 3,050 crore.

Cosmea Financial pulled out of the resolution process on Tuesday, citing higher-than-expected base bid of 6,500 crore.

Cosmea’s move made it difficult for Piramal Enterprises to participate in the auction, since it was bidding only for one Reliance Capital entity. E-auction rules allow only bidders who bid for the entire company to participate. The Cosmea-Piramal consortium had bid for the company and its subsidiaries with Piramal group’s liability limited to Reliance General Insurance.

In a letter to the administrator on Monday, Cosmea explained that the revised bid was 1,500 crore higher than the net present value offered by them.

According to the new rules, in the first and second rounds, bidders will have to increase the bid value by a minimum of 1,000 crore each. In the third and fourth rounds, the amount has to go up by 500 crore and 250 crore, respectively. This would mean that the required bids should be 7,500 crore, 8,500 crore, 9,000 crore, and 9,250 crore, respectively.

Last week, the committee of creditors had called for the e-auction for Reliance Capital after they found that the initial bids were below the liquidation value. The lenders had asked the bidders to revise the bid price else the companies will go in for liquidation. The bidders and CoC agreed to hold the auction, which took place on Wednesday.

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