The Bombay High Court admitted two company petitions for winding up of GOL Offshore Limited, an Indian offshore oilfield services company.
Apart from admitting the two petitions filed by the Export Import Bank of India and Punjab National Bank, Justice RD Dhanuka also allowed the intervention application filed by a group of eight banks which are a part of the Joint Lender’ Forum (JLF).
Arif Doctor, counsel for GOL Offshore, submitted that the petitioners in both the company petitions are secured creditors, no application for enhancement of the security is made by any of the petitioners.
Opposing the petitions, Doctor argued that GOL Offshore has already made payment of about Rs 6.5 million towards the principal amount to the petitioner. The total assets of GOL Offshore are worth more than Rs 3,000 crore.
There are 83,000 shareholders and 1,300 employees of the respondent. 67 per cent of the revenue generated by the respondent is from government projects, Doctor said.
Senior counsel Kevic Setalvad argued his case for winding up and submitted that GOL Offshore had admitted its liabilities towards EXIM Bank and PNB in JLF meetings.
Some of the banks that were a part of JLF had already declared GOL Offshore as a non-performing asset (NPA).
Setalvad said a Rs 90-crore wage bill of GOL Offshore was still pending.
The company is suffering heavy losses. There are huge arrears of statutory dues. He submitted that there is no possibility of any revival of the company. The total debts of GOL Offshore is said to be more than Rs 2,500 crores. 40 per cent of this is owed to the petitioners alone.
The court observed that although both the petitioners are secured creditors, a perusal of the record indicates that the securities granted in favour of the petitioners by the respondent against the debt, are jeopardised.
The Petitioners repeatedly called upon the respondent to enhance the security furnished to them against the debt, but to no avail.
Also, JLF gave various opportunities to the respondent to infuse the additional funds, but the promoters of GOL Offshore have refused to infuse any funds.
Finally, observing that GOL Offshore had not only admitted its liability to the petitioners, but is heavily indebted to a large number of creditors, the court ordered the appointment of the official liquidator as provisional liquidator and admitted the petitions.
Read the Order here.