Essar Group goes debt free after selling infrastructure assets to ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel


Essar Group goes debt free after selling infrastructure assets to ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel

Having settled the remainder of its $25 billion debt after the sale of two ports and a power plant to ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel Ltd (AM/NS), India's Essar Group said on Monday that it has become debt-free.


Built by brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia, Essar has sold some of its assets in sectors such as telecom, oil refining and steel over the years to settle its $25 billion debt. Its steel business, operated through Essar Steel, was acquired by a joint venture of ArcelorMittalMT.LU and Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp 5401.T


Essar Ports and Terminals Ltd and Essar Power Ltd on Monday concluded the $2.05 billion sale of a 270 megawatt (MW) power plant and 25 million tonne per annum (mtpa) port at Hazira in the west and a 12 mtpa port at Paradip in the east to AM/NS.


In a statement, Prashant Ruia, director, Essar Capital said, "Essar has concluded its asset monetisation programme and completed the debt repayment of $25 billion effectively making the group debt-free from Indian banks and financial institutions.”


AM/NS in a statement said that the ports and the power plant which it agreed to buy are captive to its India's operations and are expected to generate operation synergies for the company. It said acquisition of a 515 MW gas based power plant at Hazira, 16 mtpa deep draft terminal at Visakhapatnam in southern India and a Gandhar - Hazira transmission line will be concluded after obtaining regulatory approvals.


Acquisition of these assets will help move raw materials and finished goods between the company's manufacturing facilities in western, eastern and southern India.


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