Steel manufacturing company ArcelorMittal on Friday said it has won a bid to acquire India’s Essar Steel for more than Rs 42,000 crore. ArcelorMittal is owned by NRI billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.
In a statement, the company said its resolution plan for Essar Steel includes “an upfront payment of Rs 42,000 crore towards its resolution debt, with a further Rs 8,000 crore of capital injection to support operational improvement, increase production levels and deliver enhanced levels of profitability”.
Essar Steel’s debts amount to around Rs 49,000 crore. It is one of the first 12 companies referred by the Reserve Bank of India to be listed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in June 2017.
A committee of Essar Steel creditors chose ArcelorMittal on October 25, the same day when the Ruia family offered to pay lenders Rs 54,389 crore, including Rs 47,507 crore in cash upfront, PTI reported. It was a last-ditch effort to save their flagship company.
Before it was declared as the highest bidder on October 19, the Committee of Creditors issued ArcelorMittal a Letter of Intent declaring the company as a “successful applicant”. However, promoters of Essar Steel wanted the creditors to consider their offer as it offered maximum value to all stakeholders.
An Essar Steel spokesperson said the offer was superior to ArcelorMittal’s bid as it would provide 100% repayment to lenders and meets the aims of maximisation of value and protection of all stakeholders’ interests. It wasn’t clear if lenders considered the promoters’ offer.
In-line with Essar Steel’s corporate insolvency process, the company’s resolution plan must now be formally accepted by the National Company Law Tribunal before completion, said ArcelorMittal. The deal is expected to close before the end of this year.
ArcelorMittal said it aims to raise Essar Steel’s finished steel shipments to 8.5 million tonnes over the medium-term by completing the ongoing capital expenditure project and infusing expertise. In the long run, it wants to increase finished steel shipments to between 12 and 15 million tonnes through the addition of new iron and steel-making assets.
“After completion, ArcelorMittal will jointly own and operate Essar Steel in partnership with Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation [NSSMC], Japan’s largest steel producer and the third largest steel producer in the world,” it said. “ArcelorMittal and NSSMC expect to finance the joint venture through a combination of partnership equity [one-third] and debt [two-thirds], and ArcelorMittal anticipates that its investment in the joint venture will be equity accounted.”
The Japanese company in a statement confirmed that it had been “engaged in, together with ArcelorMittal, acquisition procedures aiming at jointly acquiring and managing Essar Steel”.