CCI Needs to Respond within 21 Days CJI Favours Work On PM’s Advice, 22 States In Summer Break Adopt Awarded Projects
Some judges may hear cases during holidays where lawyers are willing to appear Action Plans for implementation of reports of GoS
Dalmia alleged that Indian competition laws do not empower CCI to accept an alternative proposal from Lafarge India allowing it to sell its entire asset portfolio, just 11 months after issuing an initial order allowing only a partial sale.
The matter is expected to become even more contentious after CCI barred potential suitor Baring Private Equity Asia from making a formidable bid along with consortium partners Blackstone and Canadian pension giant CPPIB. CCI cited conflict of interest, said three people aware of the New development.InDelhi: a bid to lessen pendency,TheseChiefsourcesJusticeaddedof IndiathattheTS Thakuranti-trusttodayregulatorsaidthealsoSupremeblocked CourtKKR,anotherwouldhearprivateurgentequitymattersbudyouturigroup,ngsufrommmeparticipatingrvacation andintheaskedcompetitivethebarbodybiddingtochalkprooutcess.theKKRmechanism.wasbarred for being the“Welargestcansitinstitutionalduringthesummersharevacationholderwithand hear8.5% urgentstake inmattersDalandmiaI Bharat,wouldtalktheto judges,”listedholdingabench, headedcompanyby theoftheCJI,DalmiasaidwhenGroup,anadvocatewhich mentionedhassizeablea mattercementinope-the morningrationsinseekingeasternurgentIndia,listing.just like“T Lafarge.heSupCCIremehadCearlierourt bar-Bar Associationredanyplayerwillwithwelcomeoverit,”5%sen-of iortotaladvocateinstalledandcapacitySCBAPresidentinthereDushyantlevantgeographicDave,whomarketwaspresentfrom inbiddingthecourtroomforLafarge’sinconnectionunitsand withDalmiasomehadotheralreadycase, breachedpromptly responded.thatceiling. KKR’s Dalmia investmentThebench,wouldwhichmakealsocompriseditarelaJusticetedpartyR Banumathi,aspotential saidinvestorsthere are vacationexpectedbenchestobeattoanheararm’sand decidelength ascasesper normsandadditionally,onregulasometionofjudgescombinationsmayberequestedundertheto Competition Act of 2002, said a senior CCI official.
Sources said that following Dalmia’s move, some of the aggrieved PE players may also explore options to appeal against CCI’s decision to block them. When contacted, spokespersons for both KKR and Baring Asia declined to comment on the matter.
A Lafarge spokesperson said: “We cannot comment with regards to the proceedings. LafargeHolcim remains fully committed to dispose its entire interest in Lafarge India in compliance with the CCI order.”
THE DALMIA CHALLENGE
Dalmia’s legal counsel said CCI can ratify the new deal only after a fresh notice is filed by Lafarge listing details of the proposed buyer. “The original order prescribing divestment of some assets in east India (of around 5.15 million tonnes) was a precondition to allowing the Indian leg of the global merger between two companies (read Lafarge and Holcim). That process did not go through. Then, one party decided it wanted to sell itssitentireduringstakethevacationinIndia andforaccord-gota supplementaryingregularhearingorderfrominmattersCCI,” GRwhereBhatia,lawyerspartner,arewillingLuthrato &apLuthrapearandlawargue.offices, told ET. LuthraIn& longLuthravacations,isrepresentinglawyersdoDal-not miagooutCementfortheBharatentire period,inthe case.itsaid “andNow,askedifthe companyDavetochalkwantsouttosellmoitsdalitiesentire forstake,hearingtheyshouldofcasesfiledur-a freshingvacations.noticeand inform who the acquirerThesummeris.It’svacationanewtransactionoftheapex altogether.courtthis Howyear iscouldscheduledCCIallowfrom it?”Maysaid16toBhatia.June28.
CCI will have to respond within arm by the middle of 2015. Subsehappening as we speak?” the sour21 days with its views and defend quently, it signed an agreement ce said. its jurisdiction. on June 16, 2015, to buy out the PE Even the last time around, CCI
The move to sell all of Lafarge investor by paying 270 million had objected to Baring’s bid duIndia’s assets was kicked off last ($303.3 million). ring the final stages of negotiamonth after an earlier deal to But CCI feels that since this tions. This time, too, it forced the sell two cement units to Birla transaction was consummated afPE fund to pull out of the consorCorp in a .₹ 5,000-crore transacter it had issued its original order tium just before initial offers wetion fell through due to restricon the Lafarge asset sales in re going in after Baring sought a tions Newon transferAllofDelhi: 14mines.goodgovern-InMarch, Baring Asia will be consilegal clarification. With Baring March,ancetheinitiativesLokSabha passedofthe anstatesdered an existing investor. out of the consortium, only amendmentawardedtobythePMMinesNarendra&Mi-Modi“It considers Baring to be an inBlackstone and CPPIB went aheneralslastDevelopmentyearhavebeenAct,replicatedwhichby 22sider, and once it asked all sharead with a joint offer competing will makeother statesitpossibleanda Unionforcompa-Territory,holders of Lafarge India to exit with a clutch of global and domesnies towithtransferPunjabmineadoptingassetsGujarat’slin-the assets, it included the PE tic cement players and financial ked tocanal-cementtop solarunitspanelattheprojecttime forfund too. So Baring cannot re-eninvestors. of sale.generatingWhile electricity.theamendment ter the race for the same set of as“CCI’s views are not consistent has beenOn CivilunderServicesdiscussionDay,forwhichsets a year down the line but with the prevailing regulatory enthe pastwill befewheldmonths,overtwoLafarge-daysnextthrough a new vehicle. CCI felt it vironment,” said another official. Holcimweek,decidedPMwillto releasedivestitsabookinoncould potentially influence the “Previous attempts to sell the terestthein LafargereplicationIndiaoftolasthastenyear’ssale and final price by acting in units got aborted only because the closureawardsofasitswellglobalasa bookmergeron thecollusion with the seller and jeoCCI wanted individual asset sales in theActioncountry.PlansOnforFebruaryimplementation2,pardise the exercise,” said a seand that was impossible without CCI approvedofRepothertsrevisedofG rplansoup oniorf legal official directly involthe mine transfers.” throughSecretariesasupplementary(GoS)whichorder.hadved in the matter on condition of But the issue has polarised the The regulator’sbeensetuporiginalbyPM. directi-NitiAayoganonymity. “The regulator coindustry and some argue that ve hadCEOcomeAmitabhalmost Kantayearwillagomake—ulda have taken a more pragmatic the regulator’s intervention was on Marchspecial30,presentation2015. on the sta-view but chose not to. Of late, a fair call. “The new order is just tus of implementation of GoSCCI has become hyper-conservaan extension of the previous reports. While PM will speak attive,” he added. one, so if they were a shareholCCI consideredtheevent bothonAprilKKR21,andRailwayBa-Sources close to Baring Asia also der at that point, they would haring asMinisterrelated orSureshconflictedPrabhuparti-will berejected these views, insisting ve been considered so even now. es to theLafargechief andguestthusonAprilnotat20.anAs re-that somethefundstateswashavenolongeradoptedanoneinorThehasregulatorconstructedhada puccatocreatetoiletain arm’sportedlength.by ET earlier, this year’svestormorewheninitiatives.therevisedGujarat’sCCIordercanalprecedent.herkutchaItwouldhouse,haveawomanbeen
Baringawardshadwillinvestedbefor best200 districtsmil-was waterpassedprojectthisFebruary.isinstrumentalInfact, intheSunitasame YadaveveninwhothetookUS,anandoverlion ($implementing256million)in LafargefourpriorityIn-as earlyloweringasJunethe2015,temperatureBaringhadoftheminddraftyou,fromcementbankhasaccountsalwaysopenedbedia inschemesMay2013of Modifora government.14%stake. distancedsolar panels;itselffromwhichthefurthercompa-im-en aundercollusivePMindustry,”JanDhansaidYojnatheto The followingWhilegivingApril,awayLafargeawardsaglastny andprovesrelinquishedtheefficiencytheboardofthere-solarchiefopenexecutiveageneralofficerstoreandofaanot-schoolreed onyear,a $PM44-billionModihadglobalobservedmer-thatpresentations.plantandyields“It’sa higherbeenelectric-13hergoingglobalgirlPEfundVullapallithatis alsoRaniinin ger withstatesSwissshouldpeerreplicateHolcim.theAsaward-amonthsityoutput,”sincethean officialoriginalsaid.order theAndhrafray.“Lafarge’sPradeshwhoparticipa-prevailed precursoredinitiativetothe megasothatalliance,theawardswas passedTheCentreand has11monthsalsoshort-sincelistedtionuponwouldherhaveparentsblemishedtonotbuytheaTV LafargeserveSA,ainpurpose.November-“All14Decem-initiativesLafargesomesignedstoriestheof buybackcitizensinagre-itspri-wholebut constructprocess. Ia toilet.wouldSuchhavedeber 2014,nowagreedstandadoptedtobuybybackatotalBa-of 22ement.orityHowprogrammescantheystill-likebea womanper-complainedtailscouldbeingbepresentedsuspiciousbeforeof ring Asia’sstates andstakeonein UTthe –IndianimplyingceivednamedaninsiderChandwhenBibiintheAjmersaleiswhotheirtheintent.”PMonApril 21.
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