Byju’s must freeze $533 million in win for lenders, US judge says

Mar15,2024



Indian tech firm Think & Learn Private must freeze $533 million to protect the money from disgruntled lenders who claim the cash should only be used to pay them. American judge Said on Thursday.
decision by US Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey It was a mixed victory for lenders. He had earlier demanded that the funds be placed under federal court control to prevent the cash from being spent by the Indian education-tech firm, which operates under the name. byju's,
Dorsey's order was aimed at Riju RaveendranOne of the directors of the company and brother of the founder Byju Raveendran,
Raveendran was also ordered to help solve one of the central mysteries of the court dispute: where the money is located. “I don't believe him when he says he can't,” Dorsey said. Learn the location from Think & Learn.
A representative for Think & Learn declined to respond to a request for comment.
Ravindran's attorney, Sharon Corpus, argued that the lenders are to blame for any financial distress suffered by Think & Learn. Corpus told Dorsey that the company was justified in keeping money away from lenders because they were overly aggressive in claiming that the loan was in default. Think & Learn is fighting lenders in state courts in Delaware and New York.
Lenders had earlier seized control of a holding company set up by Think & Learn to issue $1.2 billion of loans. That unit, Byju's Alpha, is now bankrupt under Dorsey's watch. Raveendran is appealing the Delaware Court of Chancery's decision approving that seizure.
At the start of Thursday's bankruptcy hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, Dorsey ordered the arrest of the founder of a small Florida hedge fund after he refused to reveal where Think & Learn allegedly hid cash. Was. If he could be located by the U.S. Marshals, William C. Morton would be held for contempt of court under Dorsey's orders. Morton also must be paid $10,000 per day unless he provides details about the money, which was briefly held with the hedge fund Camshaft Capital Fund.
The missing funds are at the center of a battle between creditors and Think & Learn over $1.2 billion. Byju's Alpha lawyer Benjamin Finestone said last week that $533 million was transferred to Morton's hedge fund and then to an unnamed, off-shore trust.
Finestone said during the hearing that Byju's is in serious financial trouble and is facing disputes with its shareholders as well as a court battle with its lenders. Raveendran also testified Thursday that three of Think & Learn's six directors have resigned, leaving only he, his brother and his sister-in-law in charge of the company.
“It's vitally important that we get these funds because the walls are falling down,” Finstone told Dorsey during the hearing.
The US bankruptcy case is BYJU's Alpha Inc., 24-10140, US Bankruptcy Court District of Delaware (Wilmington).



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