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ArcelorMittal, Russian VTB-led group make bids for India's Essar Steel

Mon 12th February, 2018 4:49pm
MUMBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal SA  MT.AS  and a 
group led by Russia's VTB  VTBR.MM  have made separate bids for 
India's Essar Steel, which is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings 
and faces claims of nearly $8 billion. 
    ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, has offered a 
"detailed industrial plan" for Essar Steel aimed at improving 
its performance and profitability, it said in a statement on 
Monday after the bidding deadline. 
    The group Numetal, which said it is led by VTB, has 
submitted a bid for Essar Steel, it said in a statement.  
    Numetal said it has other minority shareholders, but did not 
say who they were. Indian media have reported Essar's founder 
Ruia family has a small stake in Numetal. 
    Essar Steel was among a dozen of India's biggest debt 
defaulters that were pushed to bankruptcy court last year after 
a central bank order aimed at clearing a $147 billion bad loan 
mountain at the nation's banks that is choking new lending. 
    Banks and other creditors and suppliers have staked claims 
of 507.78 billion rupees ($7.89 billion) from Essar Steel, 
according to Indian government data. 
    For ArcelorMittal, which has long sought to build its own 
plant in India, Essar provides "a compelling opportunity", the 
European steelmaker's Indian-born chief Lakshmi Mittal said in 
the statement. 
    ArcelorMittal had earlier been expected to also bid for 
secondary steelmaker Bhushan Steel and Power  BSSL.NS , which is 
also in bankruptcy proceedings, but did not submit a bid. Two of 
India's biggest steelmakers JSW Steel  JSTL.NS  and Tata Steel 
 TISC.NS  are bidding for Bhushan.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N1PW2V4 
    Last week, ArcelorMittal sold its entire stake in India's 
Uttam Galva Steels  UTTM.NS  to the Indian company's founders, a 
move seen as clearing the way for new steel bids.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N1PW2V4 
($1 = 64.3300 Indian rupees) 
 (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Devidutta Tripathy 
and David Evans) 
 ((devidutta.tripathy@thomsonreuters.com; +91 84518 40430; 
Reuters Messaging: 
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