CESC, the flagship company of the RPG group, is looking for more acquisitions. The 600 MW Chandrapura project in Maharashtra, in which CESC bought a little over 50 per cent stake from Dhariwal Infrastructure Private Ltd. in August, marked the utility’s foray into the national arena.
“We are in talks for some acquisitions,” CESC Vice-Chairman Sanjiv Goenka told The Hindu. He said talks were being held with more than one company. Mr. Goenka said the financial closure of the Chandrapura project was now in the documentation phase. A consortium of banks led by ICICI Bank is involved in the financial closure of the Chandrapura project. The Rs. 2,850-crore project has a debt-equity component of 70:30. “This will happen within the next seven to ten days,” he said. CESC hopes to break ground by March, 2010 for this project in which the remaining stake would be bought by December. “We will do this from our internal accruals.”
On further acquisitions, Mr. Goenka said these might be power companies or even projects as in the Chandrapura project.
He said the company was contemplating legal action against the Bihar Government to exclude the RPG group company which had bid for distributing power in the Patna circle as it felt that this company did not have the technical competence.
The RPG group, the Anil Ambani group and a lesser known Maharashtra company had participated in the bid with the last company emerging as the highest bidder. CESC is also planning to set up a power unit in Bihar.
CESC is also keen on acquiring coal mines and is in talks with companies in Indonesia, South Africa and Australia.
Mr. Goenka said talks were on with three private equity firms for divesting up to 20 per cent of Spencer’s Retail, the wholly-owned subsidiary of CESC.