Jindal eyes stressed steel firms’ assets

Steely resolve: We will look at all these assets under stress from opportunity point of view, says Sajjan Jindal.

Steely resolve: We will look at all these assets under stress from opportunity point of view, says Sajjan Jindal.  

Seeks shareholders’ approval to raise ₹14,000 crore to fund the acquisitions

JSW Group is weighing options to buy stressed steel assets, including those of debt-laden Essar Steel, Bhushan Steel and Monnet Ispat whose lenders have referred them to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to initiate liquidation proceedings.

The proceedings will be taken up under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016.

“We will look at all these assets under stress from opportunity point of view,” said Sajjan Jindal, chairman JSW Group, on the sidelines of the company’s AGM.

“So far they are value-accretive, we will look at it. I will not name the company but we are evaluating all the assets, we will see which one is most value accretive,” he said.

In a bid to fund the acquisition, JSW Steel moved a resolution seeking shareholders approval to raise ₹14,000 crore.

“The QIP and the fund raising resolution that we have taken at the AGM is more of an enabling resolution, given there are many stressed assets in India and globally. But as of now we don’t have a real chance of dilution our equity. There is no timeline as the funds would be raised based upon need,” said Mr. Jindal.

After losing $2 billion bid to acquire Italian steel firm Ilva to ArcelorMittal-led consortium, Mr. Jindal is cautious on oveseas expansion.

“Ilva Steel is allotted to ArcellorMittal and we are out of the race. Our experience with overseas investments is not very good so we are very watchful but we are not saying no to any investment. Our U.S. plant under Trump administration is doing very well because of their policy of America first. We are looking for few opportunities also in the U.S. also.” he said.

According to Mr. Jindal, lack of decision making was hampering deals in the power sector. But he was optimistic of the situation improving over time.

On the $1 billion deal to buy out JSPL power unit, Mr. Jindal told The Hindu, “There is no status update on that. There are some pre-conditions attached to the deal. Power sector is not doing well so that deal is on the backburner for now.”

Electric cars

Talking about his electric car project, Mr. Jindal said that was a project for the future. JSW was actively working on and will play a leading role [in the proposal].

Asked about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s reported comments that ecosystem in India was not ready for electric vehicles, Mr. Jindal said, “That’s where the future is going to be. India is funny country where supply drives everything. So once you start supplying, things will fall in place. JSW will play a leading role in it.”

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:55:48 PM |

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