India’s Department of Investment and Public Assets Management (DIPAM) is launching a virtual roadshow on September 22 to court potential buyers for the government-owned steel company Neelachal Ispat Nigam (NINL).
The Indian Union Cabinet had approved disinvestment from NINL in January 2020 and a two-stage auction procedure was initially announced for finding a strategic buyer. Now, DIPAM has identified steelmakers like JSW, Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, Posco, JFE Steel, and Nippon Steel, among others, to purchase the company through this process.
DIPAM’s selling criteria for NINL includes assessing buyers on their strategies to unleash the company’s growth potential, both manpower wise and operationally. According to media reports, NINL’s capacity can be expanded to produce 10mn mt of steel per year.
The government is also considering an alternate scenario of merging NINL with another government entity like RINL, Sail, or NMDC at least until a new buyer is selected. However, reports consider this scenario unlikely given the active interest from private steel companies and the government’s desire for a quick sale to help finance other projects.
The virtual events at the roadshow will include presentations by DIPAM’s secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey along with other executives from NINL.
NINL is a 1.1mn mt integrated steel plant in Odisha, India. Public sector shareholders in the company include Metals and Minerals Trading (MMTC), National Mineral Development (NMDC), Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), MECON, and two Odisha government entities including Odisha Mining (OMC) and Industrial Promotion and Investment Corp of Odisha (IPICOL). MMTC holds the largest stake at 49.8pc.