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Navigating Stressed Assets: Insights into Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code with Case Studies

Radhika Agrawal
February 29, 2024
Stressed Assets


In the dynamic landscape of financial markets, the occurrence of stressed assets has become a prevalent challenge for businesses and creditors alike. Stressed assets refer to loans or investments where the borrower is facing financial difficulties or defaulting on payments. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) of India provides a structured mechanism for the resolution of stressed assets, aiming to restore financial stability and optimize value for all stakeholders involved. This blog seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of stressed assets under the IBC, coupled with insightful case studies illustrating their resolution through the legal framework.

Understanding Stressed Assets: 

Stressed assets encompass a broad spectrum of financial instruments, including non-performing assets (NPAs), distressed loans, and underperforming investments. These assets pose significant challenges to lenders, impairing their financial health and liquidity. Recognizing the need for an effective resolution mechanism, the IBC establishes a framework for the timely identification, assessment, and resolution of stressed assets, thereby promoting financial stability and investor confidence.

Key Provisions of the IBC Pertaining to Stressed Assets: 

The IBC offers a structured framework for the resolution of stressed assets, incorporating the following key provisions:

1. Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP)

Under the IBC, creditors can initiate the CIRP against a defaulting corporate debtor, leading to the appointment of an insolvency professional (IP) to manage the resolution process. The objective is to maximize the value of assets and facilitate the restructuring or liquidation of the corporate debtor in a time-bound manner.

2. Committee of Creditors (CoC)

The CoC comprises financial creditors who are responsible for approving resolution plans and overseeing the insolvency proceedings. The CoC plays a crucial role in determining the fate of stressed assets, ensuring transparency and adherence to legal requirements throughout the resolution process.

3. Resolution Plan

Resolution applicants are invited to submit proposals outlining their plans for reviving the corporate debtor or maximizing the value of its assets.

The resolution plan must meet certain criteria specified under the IBC, including feasibility, viability, and compliance with legal requirements.

Case Studies Illustrating Stressed Asset Resolution under the IBC:

1. Essar Steel India Limited 

In the landmark case of Essar Steel, the resolution process witnessed intense legal battles and multiple rounds of bidding by prospective resolution applicants. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and subsequently the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) played a crucial role in adjudicating disputes and ensuring adherence to procedural norms. The Supreme Court's verdict upheld the primacy of financial creditors' voting rights in approving resolution plans, setting a precedent for transparent and fair resolution processes.

2. Bhushan Power & Steel Limited

The resolution of Bhushan Power & Steel exemplifies the transformative impact of the IBC in revitalizing stressed assets. Through a competitive bidding process, JSW Steel emerged as the successful resolution applicant, acquiring majority control of Bhushan Power & Steel. The case underscores the efficacy of the IBC in attracting strategic investors and facilitating the turnaround of distressed companies through transparent and competitive bidding processes.

3. Videocon Industries Limited

The resolution process of Videocon Industries exemplifies the challenges inherent in resolving complex and highly leveraged stressed assets. Despite initial setbacks and legal hurdles, the resolution process garnered significant interest from prospective resolution applicants, including global investors and domestic conglomerates. The case underscores the importance of a robust legal framework and proactive regulatory oversight in addressing systemic issues and maximizing value for stakeholders.


Stressed assets pose significant challenges to the financial system, requiring timely intervention and effective resolution mechanisms to mitigate risks and optimize value for stakeholders. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code provides a comprehensive framework for the resolution of stressed assets, emphasizing transparency, creditor rights, and value maximization. Through insightful case studies, we have witnessed the transformative impact of the IBC in revitalizing distressed companies and restoring financial stability. Moving forward, continued regulatory reforms and judicial oversight will be essential to further strengthen the resolution framework and address evolving challenges in the realm of stressed assets.

About the author
Radhika Agrawal

Radhika Agrawal, a proficient company secretary and lawyer with an additional background in business administration through an MBA, brings a wealth of experience spanning three years in the intricate realm of insolvency, bankruptcy, and restructuring field. Her expertise extends to the intricacies of secretarial practices, enriching her holistic understanding of corporate governance. Through her insightful blog, she intricately weaves her expertise, offering invaluable insights into navigating the complexities of corporate law and finance.

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