Misled CoC, courts: Essar promoters
ArcelorMittal and its promoter Lakshmi Mittal conspired to suppress vital facts to acquire Essar Steel, its promoters have alleged.
In their petition to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), Essar Steel promoters said that Mr. Lakshmi Mittal and his company misled the Committee of Creditors (CoC), the Supreme Court and NCLAT into believing that they ceased to have any business association with brothers Pramod Mittal and Vinod Mittal and their companies.
Essar Steel Asia Holdings Ltd. (ESAHL), a shareholder of Essar Steel, in its petition, cited a sworn affidavit filed by one Sanjay Sharma on behalf of Mr. Lakshmi Mittal and ArcelorMittal on October 17, 2018 that there had been no business association between Mr. Lakshmi Mittal and/or his company, and his brothers and their companies for more than 20 years.
Mr. Lakshmi Mittal and/or Arcelor had no shareholding in any of the companies where his brothers were promoters, including GPI Textiles, Balasore Alloys and Gontermann Peipers.
ESAHL also enclosed various documents to show that as late as September 30, 2018, Mr. Lakshmi Mittal was a co-promoter of one Navoday Consultants Ltd. (Navoday) along with his brothers Mr. Pramod and Mr.Vinod, and that Navoday was a promoter of GPI Textiles, Balasore Alloys and Gontermann Peipers.
These facts made it clear that ArcelorMittal had suppressed and concealed from the CoC and all courts that its promoter Mr. Lakshmi Mittal continued to have business relations with his brothers Mr. Pramod and Mr. Vinod, and was thus ineligible to submit a resolution plan under Section 29A of the IBC, ESAHL stated.
When asked for comments, ArcelorMittal said, “This is the latest in a long line of frivolous attempts by the defaulting promoters of Essar Steel to distract from the central fact that Indian lenders have declared ArcelorMittal as the most credible owner of Essar Steel.”
ArcelorMittal had stated on numerous occasions that there was absolutely no business connection between Mr. Lakshmi Mittal and his brothers. The latest allegations of Essar Steel promoters are yet another attempt to subvert the directions of the Supreme Court, and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a critical government legislation, ArcelorMittal said.