The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has granted time till May 28 to luxury hospitality chain Hotel Leelaventure and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Company to arrive at settlement ahead of its ongoing sale to Canadian fund Brookfield. On March 18, Brookfield Asset Management Company had agreed to acquire four hotels and a land parcel in Agra from Hotel Leelaventure for consideration Rs 3,950 crore. The deal is yet to go through.
A two-member NCLT bench of VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy had on Tuesday directed Hotel Leelaventure and JM Financial ARC, which owns majority stake in the luxury hotel chain for some years now, to submit a settlement agreement by May 28, when the tribunal will hear the matter afresh. Though Hotel Leelaventure has sought three to four months time for the settlement, the tribunal has granted only time till May 28. JM Financial ARC had filed insolvency application against the Mumbai-based hotel chain in January, which owes around Rs 5,900 crore to lenders.
Dhir & Dhir Associates' Ashish Pyasi, representing Hotel Leelaventure, sought three-four months more for arriving at a settlement citing the ongoing deal with Brookfield. But the tribunal gave only time till May 28. The Rs 3,950-crore deal between Brookfield and Hotel Leelaventure excludes the flagship Mumbai hotel, which is facing a legal battle with the Airports Authority of India over land lease, and also a land parcel in Hyderabad which the hotel group is developing with Prestige Developers. The Leela owns five hotels with over 1,400 rooms, in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Udaipur. The Brookfield-Leela deal will also entail buying the Leela brand, existing and all its upcoming management contracts apart from absorbing the employees of these four hotels being taken over by the Canadian fund.
(With inputs from agencies.)