India’s top court stopped ArcelorMittal from making a payment to lenders to buy Essar Steel India Ltd., extending billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s wait to enter the South Asian country’s steel market.
The Supreme Court’s two-judge bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman said status quo is to be maintained regarding Arcelor’s plan to buy Essar Steel. The court directed the bankruptcy appellate tribunal to expeditiously decide on appeals in the case.
The order may delay Arcelor’s plans to purchase the steel mill, which can produce 10 million metric tons of the metal annually and make Arcelor the fourth-biggest player in a nation where the administration plans to invest trillions of rupees in infrastructure. The bankruptcy court had approved Arcelor and its partners Nippon Steel Corp.’s offer to pay $6 billion upfront to lenders and invest about another $1.1 billion in the company to turn it around.