Liberty House keen on Bhushan Power bid but RP says it’s late

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UK-based Liberty House on Wednesday confirmed its intent to put in a bid for Bhushan Power Steel, but the person in charge of the debt resolution process at the company said there was no plan to extend the bidding deadline that had already passed.

“Liberty House will be bidding for Bhushan Power Steel and in the coming few weeks we will be submitting (a bid for) the same,” a spokesperson for the industrial and metals company said in an emailed statement.

ET reported on Wednesday about a letter that Liberty House had written to Bhushan Power Steel’s resolution professional Mahender Khandelwal, saying it “was interested in submitting a viable and competitive resolution plan for the company”. It also sought more time to make an offer.

The deadline for submitting bids lapsed on February 8, with Tata Steel and JSW Steel being the only bidders left in the fray.

Speaking to ET on Wednesday, Khandelwal said the deadline would remain the same and “if anyone has another impression, it would be incorrect”.

The next step in the process is opening of the bids that he has already received, Khandelwal said. That is likely to happen on February 23.

Liberty House has been dubbed an acquirer of stressed assets, after it made a string of acquisitions in Europe and Australia.

In India, it submitted a revised bid for Amtek Auto last week and is also preparing a bid for ABG Shipyard. The company said it was “assessing various avenues towards putting a strategy together for the bid for Bhushan Power Steel”.

Bhushan Power owes close to.`48,000 crore to lenders, of which State Bank of India is the largest. The debt resolution process was handed over to the resolution professional last June.

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