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Pre-pack Scheme Under IBC Likely for Large Cos Too

Introduction:

The government plans to introduce provisions under the Insolvency Code to allow large stressed companies to opt for a quicker and informal debt resolution process with creditors before approaching NCLT for approval.

Analysis for a Layman:

The current pre-packaged insolvency rules only cover smaller MSMEs facing bankruptcy and has strict timelines. But it has seen low adoption as banks fear investigation risks when voluntarily taking large haircuts.

Now the government wants to extend similar relaxed mechanisms for bigger corporates to resolve debt out of court first with lenders before seeking NCLT validation. This will prevent delays and value erosion typical in drawn-out IBC processes.

Enabling provisions are likely to be inserted in IBC allowing rules notification when suitable. This comes as most ongoing IBC resolutions exceed the 270-day deadline stipulated in law.

Pre-pack Scheme Under IBC Likely for Large Cos Too

Original Analysis:

The pre-pack extension for asset-heavy larger corporates makes logical sense given dysfunctional debt markets today, enormous haircuts, and resolution timelags eroding enterprise value further. Lenders can also avoid investigative scrutiny by securing ex-ante NCLT approval later.

But the move should be timed right, accounting for prevailing credit conditions. Stricter vetting of applications will be vital too. Overuse risks lenders postponing problems through band-aid settlements repetitively without fundamental turnarounds. The rights of minority creditors need protecting as well.

Impact on Retail Investors:

For investors, faster settlements aid financial services stocks grappling with poor asset quality, freeing up capital for fresh lending. Pre-packs complement the bad bank model well for sustainable sector repair.

However, enabling timely exits for all stakeholders remains key. Excess regulatory discretion, case-by-case subjectivity can spur uncertainty damaging investor sentiment if resolution outcomes remain opaque or inconsistent.

Impact on Industries:

Easier access to debt restructuring mechanisms for larger corporates aids worst-hit sectors recover faster while attracting growth capital and strategic investors eyeing distress asset bargains.

But recurrent pre-pack deals for evergreening problems may pose moral hazard, making turnaround difficult. Safeguards ensuring credit discipline and preventing misuse thus warrant priority.

Conclusion:

While pre-pack regime extension makes theoretical sense, its practical success will depend on case selection rigor, creditor coordination, and transparency. Overuse risks postponing inevitable pain while proper adoption can structurally strengthen India’s insolvency infrastructure. Regulatory balancing will hence be key.

Citation: Pattanayak, Banikinkar. “Pre-pack Scheme Under IBC Likely for Large Cos Too.” The Economic Times, 11 Dec

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