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Stage set for auctioning of Nirav Modi’s assets

Liquidator begins process of auctioning precious metals, stones of Firestar Diamond Intl and Firestar Intl, once owned by fugitive diamantaire; Aution process to clear claims of lenders amounting to Rs12,000 cr

Stage set for auctioning of Nirav Modi’s assets
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Stage set for auctioning of Nirav Modi’s assets

- So far, 10 domestic and global firms evinced their interest

- Online auction scheduled on Mar 25

- Last date for EoI is March 9

Mumbai: In a first, a court-appointed liquidator has kickstarted the process of auctioning precious metals and gemstones belonging to Firestar Diamond International and Firestar International, once owned by the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, to clear total claims of lenders amounting to more than Rs12,000 crore ($1.5 billion).

As of now, Express of Interest (EoI) stage is on for the auction which will take place on March 25. State-run lenders like Punjab National Bank (PNB), Canara Bank, IDBI Bank Ltd, and Union Bank of India (UBI) had extended credit to the company, which allegedly indulged in a brazen scam.

So far, 10 domestic and global firms have evinced their interest in their participation in the auction.

The interested parties will be allowed to submit their expression of interest until March 9. Thereafter, the eligible prospective bidders will be provided access to data room so that they can do their due diligence. Afterwards, the eligible applicants will be asked to deposit earnest money deposit (EMD) with the liquidator.

Even though the bidders will not be allowed any kind of physical check of the jewelleries to be auctioned, these metals have already been certified by Gemological Institute of India (GII). The materials to be auctioned include jewelleries made out of diamond, platinum, gold and silver. The ornaments which are being auctioned include designer necklace, ring, necklace, bangles made out of these precious metals.

GI), which is promoted by Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), will be conducting the testing of these ornaments on parameters like authenticity, carat and quality.

The online auction will be held on March 25. In fact, the reserve price will be declared on the auction date only. The ongoing bidding process is the first lot of a series of bidding to be conducted for precious metals, which has been seized by the Enforcement Directorate sleuths from the premises of the fugitive diamantaire in the past.

The images of finished Jewellery with their GII certificate and certificates of loose diamonds and precious metals will be available in the data room so that the prospective buyers are assured of the authenticity of the goods.

Talking to Bizz Buzz, the court-appointed liquidator to handle the bankruptcy proceedings, Santanu T Ray from AAA Insolvency, says: “I have, in consultation with stakeholders, appointed GII for this purpose so that the process is transparent and buyers are assured of the inventory they are buying.”

According to Ray, “IBBI (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India)-approved valuers have valued the precious metal jewellery by conducting certification and valuation of the precious metal. The idea was to make their value more accurate. As a result, the buyers will also be ready to pay a better value.”

Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) will also be conducting a similar kind of auction in the future for the seized personal assets and proprietary concerns of Nirav Modi, the date of which is yet to be announced.

I have, in consultation with stakeholders, appointed GII for this purpose so that the process is transparent and buyers are assured of the inventory they are buying

- Santanu T Ray, court-appointed liquidator, tells Bizz Buzz

Kumud Das

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