Sarda Mines, a company affiliated with Jindal Steel and Power Limited JSPL , has emerged as the winning bidder for Kwality Dairy after the milk and dairy products manufacturer was put on auction through an e-bidding process, according to people in the know. Sarda Mines won the e-bid process with an offer of Rs. 121 crore, said the people.
The bid is subject to a final approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
JSPL did not respond to ET’s queries till press time. Sarda Mines could not be reached for comment. Kwality Dairy’s official liquidator, Shailendra Ajmera of EY, declined to comment when contacted.
Ajmera was originally appointed as the resolution professional of Kwality Dairy by the NCLT in 2018 when private equity firm KKR dragged the company for bankruptcy proceedings over loan defaults.
Though JSPL does not directly own a stake in Sarda Mines, the Odisha-based mining company is a supplier of iron ore to its steel plants. Sarda Mines recently purchased a 0.52% stake in JSPL through bulk deals.
Haldiram’s and French dairy firm Lactalis were among those also interested in buying Kwality Dairy. Haldiram’s had made an offer of ₹144 crore to creditors but it was rejected and they chose to send the company into liquidation and put it through an e-auction.
Delhi-based Kwality Dairy was originally set up as a backward integration facility to supply milk for making ice creams that were sold under the Kwality brand. Hindustan Unilever acquired the Kwality ice creams brand from its original owners, the family of Iqbal Ghai and PL Lamba, in 1994.
Source : The Economic Times Sep 28 2021