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Tata Steel top bidder for Bhushan Power, beats JSW with Rs 170-bn offer

Veena Mani/New Delhi 15 Feb 18 | 02:17 AM

Tata Steel seems to be emerging the highest bidder for Bhushan Power and Steel. According to sources close to the development, Tata Steel has offered to pay Rs 170 billion upfront to financial creditors against JSW’s Rs 110 billion.

The finals bids were placed on February 9 and sent to the legal team for scrutiny.

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SBI caps will now evaluate the bids.

Around 13 companies had submitted expressions of interest. Some did not qualify and only five were provided access to the virtual data room. The liquidation value of Bhushan Power was estimated to be around Rs 90 billion and the fair value around Rs 250 billion.

Bhushan Power was one of the few companies where lenders had pressed for a fair value much before the insolvency regulator made it mandatory. The committee of creditors is likely to be guided by an average of the liquidation value and the fair value.

The company’s debt stood at Rs 372 billion in 2015-16. Net sales were at Rs 77 billion and losses at Rs 24.36 billion. The dues, however, have now risen to Rs 470 billion. Apart from JSW and Tata Steel, Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta had conducted due diligence of the plant. However, it stayed away from submitting a bid.

AION Capital was also understood to have shown interest but did not submit a bid.

ArcelorMittal and a Dubai-based investor, who had submitted an expression of interest, also withdrew from the process. Bhushan Steel and Power promoter Sanjay Singal had also submitted an expression of interest. However, Singal changed his plan after the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was amended, debarring promoters from bidding without clearing overdues.

Bhushan Power ran into trouble after licences for its iron ore and coal mines were cancelled. It was allocated a coal mine with reserves of around 250 million tonnes, which was deallocated in 2014.

The iron ore mines were committed by the Odisha government. Two other mines were allocated in 2012 and 2014 after the intervention of the Supreme Court. Subsequently, the amended Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act was passed in 2015 and the company’s iron ore mines were cancelled. The unlisted company has a steelmaking capacity of 3 million tonnes in Odisha, West Bengal, and Chandigarh.

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