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Ruias may rope in VTB, SSG for Essar Steel; Jhunjhunwala, Damani eye Binani Cement
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Essar Steel promoters, the Ruia Group, are planning to set up a consortium to retain control of the debt-laden company, a report in a financial daily said.

The consortium may comprise Russian bank VTB and Hong Kong-based special situations fund SSG Capital besides a few Essar Group employees, The Economic Times reported citing unnamed individuals.

The Ruia brothers, according to the report, have already launched a special purpose vehicle that will be part of the same consortium. It is to be headed by a former senior public sector banker and a former official from the Steel Authority of India, the report added.

While VTB and SSG will be the principal shareholders in the consortium, the Ruia brothers will retain a minority shareholding of 10-20%, ET said, citing a person in the know. VTB Capital had in the past advised Essar Energy in its $12.9-billion deal to sell Essar Oil to a Rosneft-led consortium.

Essar Steel is among the 12 large non-performing asset accounts identified by the Reserve Bank of India for loan resolution under the insolvency and bankruptcy code. It owes Rs 45,000 crore to a consortium led by State Bank of India.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Radhakishan Damani join race for Binani Cement

The race to acquire the assets of another debt-ridden firm Binani Cement has intensified with billionaires Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and D-Mart promoter Radhakishan Damani joining the fray, a report in The Economic Times stated, citing two people in the know.

The duo has joined hands to bid for the company, which owes around Rs 3,900 crore to its lenders, the ET report added.

Besides them, cement majors such UltraTech, Heidelberg, the JSW Group, Dalmia Bharat and Ramco Cements either tied up or submitted bids on their own on the last day of the bidding. Ramco Cements tied up with private equity firm True North to join the race, the report said.

Blackstone eyes L&T Realty’s properties

Private equity firm Blackstone Group is in advanced stages of discussion to acquire two commercial properties of L&T Realty, The Economic Times reported, citing two people in the know.

The properties, which are 1.7 million sq ft, are valued at around Rs 2,300 crore, the report added.

The properties under consideration include the fully-leased commercial tower at the L&T premise in Powai, Mumbai and the office block at the company's commercial project at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai, ET said.

In 2016, the private equity giant had bought a retail mall, adjacent to the office tower in Seawoods, from L&T Realty for over Rs 1,400 crore.

Three Indian renewable energy firms eye Canada’s SkyPower

Canada-based SkyPower is in talks with Hero Future Energies, the renewable energy company backed by the Hero Group, to sell its Indian assets, The Economic Times reported.

In 2015, SkyPower won bids to develop 350 megawatts of solar power projects in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.

Besides Hero Future Energies, ReNew Power and Greenko Energy Holdings are also bidding for the Canadian company’s assets and the deal is expected to get finalised within a month, ET reported citing people in the know.

Pantaloons Fashion Retail hires new CEO

In people movement, Pantaloons Fashion Retail has named Sangeeta Pendurkar, the former managing director at Kellogg India, as its chief executive, The Economic Times reported.

Pendurkar, who is the first woman CEO at the $41-billion Aditya Birla Group, has succeeded Shital Mehta, ET reported. Mehta had quit last year to join retailer Max Fashions as CEO.

Pendurkar will be reporting to Ashish Dikshit, managing director at Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, the report added.

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