When the battle for 10 million tonne (MT) Essar Steel goes back to square one, with a re-bid deadline of April 2, the same ‘ineligible bidders’ plan to make a comeback with new bids for acquisition. ArcelorMittal, one of the two bidders who had submitted the bid in the first round, says it doesn’t mind fresh bids. However, the second bidder Numetal Mauritius is still figuring out its plans to meet the qualification criteria.
The industry experts expect that the competition for Essar Steel will mainly play out between these two again. In addition to these two, there were three more companies, Vedanta Resources, Tata Steel and Nippon Steel, who had submitted expressions of interests (EoIs) for Essar Steel.
Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta, had said earlier that his company is not keen to bid for Essar as they are not in the steel sector. Tata Steel already has a lot on its plate after it emerged as the highest bidder for Bhushan Steel and Bhushan Power & Steel. The combined offer value of these two bids comes to around Rs 59,000 crore, when Tata Steel owes Rs 83,000 crore of consolidated debt. In addition, the steelmaker has Rs 23,500 crore worth of expansion plan for Kalinganagar plant on cards. Japan’s Nippon Steel has signed a joint venture (JV) formation agreement with ArcelorMittal, along with Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC), to acquire and manage Essar Steel.
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