Hot rolled steel moves through a mill at the Tata Steel Ijmuiden BV plant, a unit of Tata Steel Ltd., in Ijmuiden, Netherlands. (Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg)

Tata's Bid for Bhushan Steel Is Said to Be for $5.3 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- Tata Steel Ltd. offered 350 billion rupees ($5.3 billion) to lenders to acquire bankrupt Bhushan Steel Ltd., said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Mumbai-based Tata Steel offered an all-cash deal to the creditors, the person said, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public. The lenders on Thursday declared the steelmaker’s bid successful, subject to the company obtaining necessary approvals, including from the resolution professional, the company law tribunal that is overseeing the process, and the Competition Commission of India, Tata Steel said in an exchange filing on Friday.

A new Indian bankruptcy law designed to clear out distressed debt has set off a contest for more than $26 billion of steel assets, spurring interest from foreign and domestic metals giants. The acquisition, if completed by March 2019, will help Tata Steel overtake two other rivals to become India’s biggest steel maker.

The deal doesn’t look “like a very attractive or cheap deal by any means," said Abhisar Jain, an analyst from Centrum Broking Pvt. in Mumbai. However, “if the deal gets all the approvals, Tata Steel will be able to quickly bridge the gap that it has, between the top two steel players JSW Steel and Sail in terms of steel capacity through this rather aggressive move."

Tata Steel in an email response said that the company can’t disclose any financial details as the steelmaker is bound by a non-disclosure agreement.

The unit of Tata Sons is doubling down on India after selling some unprofitable businesses in Europe and agreeing to tie up with Thyssenkrupp AG for the rest of the operations. The shift in focus has come at a time when the South Asian nation is spending trillions of rupees to build up infrastructure, boosting prospects of steelmakers. The acquisition will help Tata Steel accelerate its plan to double capacity to 26 million tons in five years. Bhushan Steel can produce 5.6 million tons of the metal a year.

Tata Steel fell 2.3 percent to 567.55 rupees at close in Mumbai, while Bhushan Steel surged 4.9 percent to 41.45 rupees.

Tata Steel will borrow new debt in 2018 to acquire stressed assets after completing an equity rights issue for repaying some loans, according to S&P Global Ratings. If the company wins assets of Bhushan Steel and another insolvent company Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd., sale process for which is currently on, then it could boost Tata’s capacity by about 8 million tons a year and raise the company’s annual spending on these to an estimated 30 billion rupees, it said.

Under the ongoing insolvency process, Bhushan Steel is the most indebted company and second-biggest in terms of capacity with claims of about 560 billion rupees.

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