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Grapevine: Adani, others circle 3 Odisha discoms; KKR frontrunner for JB Chemicals
Photo Credit: VCCircle

The Adani Group, RP-Sanjiv Goenka group’s power utility company CESC Ltd and Tata Power Co. Ltd have evinced interest in the privatisation of three Odisha discoms, people aware of the development told Mint.

These are Western Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha Ltd (Wesco), North Eastern Electricity Supply Co. of Odisha Ltd (Nesco) and the Southern Electricity Supply Co. of Orissa Ltd (Southco), they said.

“Wesco and Nesco have high industrial load,” one of the persons said, referring to high consumption by industrial consumers.

The move to privatise the three discoms in Odisha comes after Tata Power won a 25-year licence in December for distribution and retail supply of power in five circles of the Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU).

Separately, KKR & Co. Inc. has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire JB Chemicals from the Mody family and has signed an exclusivity agreement with the sellers for bilateral negotiations, people aware of developments told The Economic Times.

KKR trumped private equity rivals PAG, Bain Capital and Apax in a bidding war which was previously reported.

KKR, according to the people, is likely to pay up to 10% premium or about Rs 750 per share. However, this could not be independently verified. 

The deal will also involve an open offer getting launched for an additional 25% of the company and, if successful, could lead to KKR owning over 80% for up to Rs 4,869 crore ($640 million at current exchange rate).

At current prices, KKR would end up paying Rs 3,117 crore for just the Mody family’s stake.

Meanwhile, the ministry of home affairs has approved the equity component of the Rs 25,215 crore Reliance Jio-Brookfield tower deal ($3.3 billion at current exchange rate), people familiar with the matter told Economic Times.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) would seek the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi) view on the debt part of the transaction. This could delay the final clearance, pending since October. 

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