The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the filing of insolvency proceedings against Supertech Ltd.
The action came after the Union Bank of India filed a case against the RK Arora-promoted Supertech after the builder whose two illegal towers were bought-down in Noida failed to repay loans to the state-run lender. The loan was taken to fund the Eco Village II project in Greater Noida. The bankruptcy court ordered the initiation of insolvency proceedings against real estate firm Supertech Ltd, one of the Supertech group’s companies, in response to a petition filed by the Union Bank of India for non-payment of approximately Rs 432 crore in dues. There has been a default in payment of the financial debt, according to the NCLT. As a result, Hitesh Goyal was appointed as the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) to oversee Supertech’s ongoing insolvency proceedings.
Supertech Ltd had 38,041 customers, and possession of flats was given to 27,111 of them. A total of 10,930 homes have yet to be delivered. Supertech Ltd also intends to appeal the order to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). However, it also ensured that the NCLT order would not impact the operations as were committed to the delivery of units to allottees.
ABOUT THE CASE
Supertech received a Rs 350 crore loan from a consortium of banks in 2013 to help fund its Eco Village II project in Greater Noida. Union Bank had the highest exposure to credit facilities, at Rs 150 crore. Supertech was late in repaying the debt and stopped paying entirely in July 2019. Supertech received an NCLT notice for payment defaults in April 2019. Despite this, Supertech did not repay the principal or interest.
Supertech also sought Rs 1,500 crore from the government’s newly established stress fund in January 2020 to complete its 12 ongoing housing projects in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida and Greater Noida. A year later, Union Bank filed a complaint with the NCLT, alleging that Supertech had failed to make a payment of Rs 431.92 crore.
On March 25, the NCLT’s Delhi bench admitted the case on a petition filed by Union Bank of India for non-payment of dues and declared Supertech insolvent. Union Bank is the lead lender to Supertech, with a loan of approximately Rs 400 crore, while IDBI Bank is estimated to have lent between Rs 150 and Rs 200 crore.
Union Bank of India, IDBI Bank, L&T Finance, and India bulls Housing Finance are among the financial creditors of Supertech. So far, only Union Bank and IDBI Bank have filed complaints with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
SETBACK FOR SUPERTECH
The tribunal also ordered the IRP to make a public announcement in this regard and declared a moratorium against the company by the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The moratorium will last until a resolution plan is approved, and no new cases or claims can be filed against the company in any court of law, tribunal, arbitration panel, or other authority during that time. Supertech is also prohibited from transferring, encumbering, alienating, or disposing of any assets. This is the second major setback for developers in Noida in the last year.
On August 31 last year, the Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of Supertech Ltd’s twin 40-storeyed towers, which are part of the under-construction Emerald Court project in Noida for violation of building norms in collusion with officials.
Supertech Ltd had 38,041 customers, and possession of flats was given to 27,111 of them. According to Supertech Group Managing Director Mohit Arora, there are still 10,930 possessions to be delivered, with over 70% of construction completed on over 8,000 flats.
According to the Money control report, India bulls Housing Finance, which classified Supertech as a non-performing asset account in October 2018, expects to recover the entire amount it lent to Supertech within 12-18 months.
Three to four other companies in the group are working on a variety of projects in the Delhi-NCR area, including the luxury project Supernova. In Supertech Ltd, there were approximately 11-12 housing projects against which insolvency proceedings were initiated. Approximately 90% of these projects were completed. According to a Press Trust of India report, the projects that will be impacted include Eco Village I, II, and III in Greater Noida (West), as well as the Emerald Court project, which houses the twin towers.
EFFECTS ON HOME BUYERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
Homebuyers are also considered financial creditors and have a seat on the Committee of Creditors. In the interests of homebuyers, construction and delivery of projects were prioritized over repayment of bank debts, which can be satisfied after project completion. There is less risk of loss to any parties or financial creditors because the company’s projects are financially viable. The order has no bearing on the operations of any other Supertech Group Company. Due to Supertech’s insolvency, over 25,000 homebuyers may have to wait longer for their flats to be delivered.
According to legal experts, based on the precedents of real estate company resolutions, the insolvency proceedings are likely to last more than a year. Meanwhile, those who reserved apartments at Supertech properties are inquiring with insolvency professionals about what role they can play in expediting insolvency proceedings.
People want to know how the process works. There is less panic, but a detailed FAQ on how these homebuyers and others can apply for any claims will be issued soon.
On March 29, the insolvency resolution professional is expected to issue an advertisement soliciting claims from homebuyers and financial creditors. Almost 11,000 homebuyers in Supertech’s ongoing housing projects in the national capital region (NCR) are unsure what will happen to their apartments now that the real estate developer has been declared bankrupt by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
Not only Supertech, but many real estate companies, including Jaypee Infratech and Mumbai-based HDIL, are insolvent. Amrapali Group and Unitech Group have also failed to complete many projects, particularly in the Delhi-NCR region, affecting thousands of homebuyers. The government has taken over the management of Unitech, while NBCC is completing Amrapali’s stalled projects under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
We at LegalFund extend our financial assistance to distressed companies going under IBC proceedings. We believe that finance should not be the sole deciding factor in day to day company operations.