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Ruias stick to share offer

Bangalore, March 15 (Reuters): The Ruia family stuck to the 70 pence per share it indicated earlier for buying out the minorities in its London-listed Essar Energy Plc, an offer slammed again by the company’s independent committee.

The committee said the offer from Essar Global Fund Ltd (EGFL) “materially undervalued” the London-listed resources company.

“EGFL, which is ideally placed to assess the value of Essar Energy and its prospects, itself recognised in November 2013 that the company was worth at least 97 pence per share,” Philip Aiken, the chairman of the independent committee, said in a statement.

Essar Energy owns a series of power and oil assets in India and also operates the UK’s second-biggest oil refinery — Stanlow in northwest England.

EGFL, which owns about 78 per cent of Essar Energy, said last month it was considering making an offer for the stake it did not own.

Brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia are “beneficiaries” of Essar Global Fund. Ravi Ruia also sits on Essar Energy’s board along with his nephew Prashant Ruia.

The indicative offer was rejected by the independent committee set up to assess the proposal.

The company’s minority shareholders Standard Life and Henderson Global had also called the offer opportunistic.

The independent committee on Friday also urged Essar Energy’s shareholders and holders of its convertible bonds to take no action pending a further announcement.

Standard Life and Henderson declined to comment.

EGFL, which made the offer through its subsidiary Energy Bidco Holdings Ltd, also proposed to acquire the 4.25 per cent convertible bonds due 2016 guaranteed by Essar Energy.


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