JSW Steel to buy out Praxair from joint venture for $36 mn

Billionaire Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel Ltd said on Tuesday it has signed a pact to acquire Praxair India Pvt Ltd’s 74% stake in their joint venture for Rs 240 crore ($36 million) in cash.

India’s second-largest steelmaker currently holds a 26% stake in JSW Praxair Oxygen Pvt Ltd and will wholly own the maker of industrial gases after the transaction, JSW Steel said in a statement.

The deal is the latest by a Sajjan Jindal company. The JSW group has been on an acquisition spree for the past couple of years in the power and steel sectors.

In July, JSW Energy Ltd agreed to acquire thermal power plant from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd for Rs 2,700 crore. In May, it decided to purchase a 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant from a company controlled by Sajjan Jindal’s brother Naveen for up to Rs 6,500 crore. Last year, JSW Energy had agreed to acquire two hydroelectric plants from Jaiprakash Power for Rs 9,275 crore.

In 2014, JSW Steel agreed to buy Welspun Energy Ltd’s entire stake in sponge iron firm Welspun Maxsteel Limited for Rs 1,000 crore and acquired a 50% stake in Vallabh Tinplate Pvt Ltd for Rs 46 crore to enter the tinplate business.

JSW Praxair Oxygen produces and sells industrial gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and argon at its two air separation plants, each with a capacity of 2,500 tonnes a day, at Toranagallu in Karnataka Bellary district.

JSW Steel, which has a steel plant in Bellary, currently sources industrial gases from the joint venture amongst others at prices based on long-term contracts.

“The acquisition is strategic in nature as it will provide the company the benefit of backward integration of this critical input,” JSW Steel said.

Praxair India is the local unit of the US-based Praxair Inc., which entered India in 1995 through the joint venture with JSW. Praxair India was set up in 1996 with its headquarters in Bengaluru.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP and Bharucha & Partners, Advocates and Solicitors carried out financial and legal due diligence, respectively, for JSW Steel.

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