Thursday, 26 May, 2022
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Russian bidder backs out, Turkey firm keen on buying debt-laden Anil Ambani shipyard

United Shipbuilding Corporation of Russia, one of the keen contenders till the Expression-of-Interest process, backed out during the final bidding for R-Naval.

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New Delhi: A consortium of Dubai-based GMS and Besiktas Shipyard of Turkey, and two other companies have submitted their final bids for buying out Anil Ambani Group’s Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited (R-Naval), which owns the Gujarat-based Pipavav Shipyard, ThePrint has learnt.

The other two companies that have submitted bids are Gujarat-based APM Terminals and the Naveen Jindal Group, sources in the know of the proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) said.

The Committee of Creditors (COC) will meet this week for an evaluation of these bids, the last date for whose submission was 15 August.

United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) of Russia, a keen contender for the shipyard till the Expression-of-Interest process, backed out during the final bidding.

Sources said this was because the company’s management believed the pipeline of new defence naval business was not clear, and also as the Modi government had cancelled a contract for six offshore patrolling vessels from R-Naval.

In the absence of any clear future visibility of business from the government, it didn’t make any sense for USC to bid for the R-Naval shipyard, sources said.

USC had been interested in R-Naval because the Russian firm has been eyeing the Indian Navy’s long-pending Project 75I. The thought at that time was that if the USC acquires R-Naval, it could build new submarines in India, under the Make-in-India initiative. However, the government is clear that Project 75I will be pursued under a strategic partnership, which will involve an Indian shipyard.

Also read: Shipbuilding is our maritime sector’s ‘missed opportunity’. It needs its own ministry

12 companies were in fray earlier

A total of 12 companies had earlier expressed interest in acquiring R-Naval, which has a debt of Rs 11,000 crore.

The entire debt of R-Naval is being transferred to the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), or the “bad bank”.

The resolution of R-Naval debt will take place through NARCL asset management company (AMC), with IDBI as the lead banker of R-Naval.

Also read: Our harbours may be vulnerable for 20 years, and Indian Navy can’t do much

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

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