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karaikal port: Adani, Vedanta co send in bids for Karaikal port

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and a Vedanta group entity have submitted binding financial bids for Karaikal Port on September 30 at the close of the bidding deadline, according to people briefed on the matter. The two companies were amongst five players that had submitted expressions of interest for the 600-acre port in August.

Kariakal Port defaulted on loans of ₹2,960 crore. It was admitted for insolvency proceedings on April 29 by the Chennai bench of the national company law tribunal (NCLT). The three others were JSW Infra, Jindal Power and consortium of RKG Fund and Sagacious Capital.

The two final bids will be opened at a committee of creditors meeting on Monday.

Karaikal Port is located in the union territory of Puducherry.

Adani, Vedanta and Karaikal Port’s resolution professional Rajesh Sheth did not respond to ET’s queries. Karaikal Port is an all-weather deep water port developed on build, operate and transfer format under a public private partnership arrangement between the government of Puducherry and MARG, a Chennai-headquartered infrastructure developer promoted by former merchant banker GRK Reddy. MARG Limited had incorporated a special purpose vehicle to develop the port. The port was commissioned in 2009.

It has handled diverse cargo such as coal, sugar, cement, fertilisers, project cargo, agro commodities, liquid cargo and containers. A group of eleven lenders all of which are public sector banks or financial institutions had originally sanctioned a loan of ₹1,362 crore to Karaikal Port. The loan ballooned to its current size as interest and penalties were added because repayments remained irregular.

Indian Bank, Allahabad Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), United Bank of India (later merged into PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce (later merged into PNB), Syndicate Bank (later merged into Canara Bank), Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, IIFC Limited, State Bank of Hyderabad (later merged into State Bank of India) and Corporation Bank (later merged into Union Bank of India) were the original lenders.

Nine of the eleven lenders sold their loans to Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company in 2015. The only two that didn’t sell their loans were State Bank of Hyderabad and Corporation Bank.

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