RITL: CoC appeal subject to NCLT opinion on Bank of Doha petition

By Mitali Salian

The National Company Law Tribunal ruled on Friday that any resolution passed by Reliance Infratel’s Creditors Committee (CoC) is subject to the court’s decision on the Bank of Doha’s petition. Doha Bank was against the admission of bankers’ claims on the basis of the invoked corporate guarantees issued by RITL in favor of Trusted communication.

The two-member panel from Mumbai adjourned the hearing on the matter until June 21. The court also gave National Bank of India, who is a respondent to the Doha Bank petition, seven days to respond and the Doha Bank petitioner three additional days to file a rejoinder. SBI is a respondent because its claims are based on direct loans and also on corporate guarantees invoked.

The Doha Bank attorney said other banks with similar direct exposure to Reliance Infratel are expected to file similar claims in the coming days, including Emirates NBD, ICBC and a Russian bank, believed to be VTB Capital.

On Thursday, the lawyer representing the Doha Bank and referring to three other direct lenders as a “syndicate of direct lenders to RITL”, alleged that the IRP’s decision to admit claims of 8,000 crore – on the base of bankers relying on corporate guarantees issued by Reliance Infratel to help secure loans for Reliance Communications – diluted the voting share of direct lenders to RITL in the CoC.

The lawyer alleged that the Syndicate of Direct Lenders loaned RITL around 1,400 crore, while the direct exposure of the State Bank of India was 900 crore and the exposure of operational creditors was 300 crore.

However, the lawyer claimed that the total debt increased with the addition of claims based on company guarantees, which also diluted the total voting share of the “union” to 15% from 45%.

The actual claims allowed for RITL, according to documents uploaded to the website, were 9,665.07 crore.

According to the lawyer for Doha Bank, the items on the agenda of the CoC of Reliance Infratel included taking note of the constitution of the CoC and the appointment of a PR in accordance with Article 22 of the Insolvency Code and bankruptcy, 2016.

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