Major Indian steelmakers are keen on buying stakes in the state-owned Neelachal Ispat Nigam (NINL). Tata Steel, AM/NS India, and the Vedanta group could bid for the company, according to local media reports.
The government has shown an accommodative stance towards buyers interested in bidding through a consortium and tweaked policy to allow bidders from new or change existing consortium.
The CEOs of AM/NS and Vedanta-owned ESL Steel have confirmed their interest in buying NINL to local media, while Tata steel has maintained that it is keen on expanding its long steel products capacity. NINL is an integrated steel plant with a 1.1mn mt annual capacity. The company also owns mines at Sundergarh and Keonjhar district of Odisha.
India’s Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) which is spearing heading the government’s divestment program has directed bidders to seek approval for the relevant changes within 60 days. The deadline for the expression of interest (EoI) is March 29.
The government plans to divest a 93.7pc stake in the company which is shut since March 2020 due to financial constraints. NINL is a joint venture between four central government-owned enterprises and two Odisha state-owned companies. In its December restructuring plan, NINL sought Rs3500mn ($48.31mn) for starting plant and mines operations.