SBI Files Insolvency Plea Against Simplex

State Bank of India (SBI) has filed an insolvency petition against Kolkata-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Simplex Infrastructures in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for recovery of its dues after attempts to restructure its loans did not succeed, the Economic Times of India reported. The company owes lenders led by Punjab National Bank (PNB) a total of ₹9,600 crore and is one of the largest accounts to be taken to the bankruptcy courts in recent times. The NCLT is likely to hear the petition later this month. PNB is the lead lender with outstanding dues of ₹1,600 crore after the consolidation of debt from the erstwhile United Bank of India (UBI) and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) after they were taken over by PNB in 2020. SBI is the second largest creditor with dues of about ₹1,500 crore, followed by Indian Bank with ₹1,400 crore. "There are more than two dozen lenders registered as creditors to this company, which has been sick for more than three years. Hopefully, the petition will be admitted soon and all creditors will have some recourse for recovery," said a person aware of the company's position. Established in 1924, Simplex has built some of the landmark bridges and is involved in urban transport projects. However, delays in some government payments and the cancellation of large orders led to tightening liquidity for the company, which resulted in banks classifying these loans as non-performing assets (NPAs) in 2019. Read more.