|Punj Lloyd Ltd was referred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday by ICICI Bank Ltd to recover dues worth 852 crore, sending the construction company’s stock tumbling by more than 11%.|
A two-judge NCLT bench, headed by M.M. Kumar, issued a notice to Punj Lloyd, asking it to file a reply to ICICI Bank’s plea.
The private sector bank’s plea was opposed by State Bank of India (SBI), the leader of the lenders’ forum for Punj Lloyd, on the ground that the six-month period granted to corporate debtors for resolution of debt outside the insolvency and bankruptcy code, as stated in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) 12 February circular, has not ended.
Punj Lloyd’s asset base covers only 5% of the company’s debt and the 20 ongoing projects are the only source of money for the company, SBI told the tribunal, adding that the initiation of insolvency proceedings will likely halt those projects.
SBI further told the tribunal that more than 90% of the lenders were in favour of a resolution plan outside the insolvency and bankruptcy code and would oppose ICICI Bank’s plea.
Punj Lloyd also said in a regulatory filing that it thinks the plea may not be admitted by NCLT as more than 90% of its lenders were in favour of restructuring the debts.
The matter will be next heard on 24 July.
Punj Lloyd belongs to the so-called second list of corporate defaulters named by RBI last year.
Shares of Punj Lloyd plunged 11.1% to 14.85 on the BSE on Thursday, while the exchange’s benchmark Sensex shed 0.39% to close at 35,599.82 points.
Punj Lloyd is a diversified engineering, procurement and construction company which executes projects in the energy, infrastructure and defence sectors. It reported a loss of 72 crore in the year ended 31 March. Consolidated borrowings stood at 7,114 crore as of March. The company has pending orders worth 9,127 crore.