Lenders have selected ‘s offer of ₹2,800 crore for a financially-stressed Lanco power unit, to put to a vote after its offer was declared higher than that of rival bidder iLabs Group, according to sources.

Vedanta and iLabs Group were the only two bidders under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) provisions for the stressed thermal power company

Amarkantak that owns two operating power plants in Chhattisgarh and four that are under construction. ET had first reported the names of the two bidders in October last year.

Sources said there have been hectic parleys with the bidders who had initially quoted ‘lowball’ numbers to take over the company. Several months of negotiations interrupted by a Covid wave have resulted in the current offers that were finally considered.

A consortium of 14 banks and financial institutions are owed ₹14,000 crore by the stressed power company. They include Axis Bank, LIC, Edelweiss ARC, Power Finance Corporation, Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank, among others.

For Vedanta’s offer to succeed, two-thirds of the lenders have to vote in its favour, as per IBC rules.

Vedanta and Lanco Amarkantak Power’s resolution professional Saurabh Tikmani did not respond to ET’s queries. “The offer only provides 20% recovery, which is quite low. Lenders will have to examine other options including a re-bid if the requisite votes are not garnered,” an executive familiar with deliberations between the lenders said on condition of anonymity.

However, one of the sources said Vedanta had offered to make the entire payment upfront and the offer has to be seen in the context of investors’ preference for green energy and comparable offers for stressed thermal power companies.

ET had reported on March 9 that Adani had made an offer of ₹2,600 crore for Essar Power MP, which has debt of ₹12,000 crore. That offer was ultimately accepted by lenders after Adani sweetened the deal terms. Similarly, Jindal India Thermal Power’s lenders had accepted an offer of ₹2,500 crore from the company’s promoters to settle its debt under RBI’s one-time settlement scheme.



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