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JSW closes in on Bhushan Power

JSW Steel has promised to close the Rs 19,700-crore deal by March 31, even as it is aiming to complete the transaction as early as Thursday, March 25
Representational image.
Representational image.

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 25.03.21, 01:57 AM

West Wave Maritime & Allied Services Pvt Ltd, a promoter group entity belonging to Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Group, raised Rs 2,500 crore via non convertible debentures, tying up the last mile funding for the acquisition of Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd (BPSL).

JSW Steel has promised to close the Rs 19,700-crore deal by March 31, even as it is aiming to complete the transaction as early as Thursday, March 25. 

The process will involve transferring the amount articulated in the resolution plan to the creditors, which largely consist of state-run banks and financial institutions.

Corporate sources said the entire acquisition would be funded by borrowing, at least for now. JSW would look to bring in equity only at a later date. Moreover, the entire bulwark will be done by JSW alone, unlike in the case of Monnet Ispat, where it was only a minority equity partner.

BPSL is one of the 12 large companies which were sent to the bankruptcy court by a diktat of the Reserve Bank of India in 2017. After many twists and turns, JSW emerged as the highest bidder for the company which operates a 2.8-million-tonne steel plant in Odisha, leaving Tata Steel and Liberty House of the UK behind.

Monnet Ispat, which was also on the list of the 12 companies, was acquired by JSW in association with AION Capital, which picked up a 74 per cent stake. However, the Jindals appear to be going alone for BPSL.

“The company may consider bringing equity at a later date,” a source close to the development said, adding the option of inducting a partner would be taken then.

The arrangement to finance the entire transaction by debt comes in the background of the conditional payment JSW will make to the financial creditors. At least two court cases, one by the Enforcement Directorate and another by erstwhile promoter Sanjay Singhal, are still pending in the Supreme Court which may throw a spanner to the resolution plan.

The committee of creditors agreed on March 5 that they would return the money paid by JSW in the case of an 

adverse judgment by the apex court, which may restrain the execution of the resolution plan. 

Financial creditors with a share of 97 per cent of the total debt exposure voted in favour of this arrangement. 

The State Bank of India will be the biggest beneficiary having Rs 9,825.67 crore admitted claim, followed by Punjab National Bank’s Rs 4,399 crore. An asset reconstruction firm has a debt of Rs 5,275 crore, while Canara Bank and Allahabad Bank have Rs 2,244-crore and Rs 2,130-crore debt, respectively.

Apart from the steel plant in Odisha, unlisted BPSL owns a power plant and several downstream units across north India. 

The transaction will pave way for JSW Steel to mark its manufacturing presence in eastern India, which has so far been the strongholds of Tata Steel and SAIL.

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