Gautam Adani, chairman and managing director of Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone Ltd., speaks during the company’s listing ceremony at the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Bloomberg News)

Billionaire Adani Is Said to Near Acquisition of GMR Power Plant

(Bloomberg) -- Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s energy unit is nearing a deal to acquire a 1,370-megawatt thermal power plant backed by GMR Infrastructure Ltd., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Adani Power Ltd. will take over about 38 billion rupees ($543 million) of loans out of a total of 58 billion rupees that GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Ltd. owes, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Adani Power will also assume non-funded liabilities of about 14 billion rupees, the people said.

India’s central bank has been looking to restructure stressed loans that have already pushed dozens of companies into bankruptcy. The RBI is attempting to clean up more than $210 billion of soured debt on bank balance sheets and has previously asked lenders to take about 40 large defaulters to bankruptcy court lest overdue borrowings slow growth in Asia’s third-largest economy. In February, it introduced new rules and a timeline for delinquent loans to be recast.

A deal is likely to be announced in the next few weeks after lenders give a formal approval, the people said. Lenders took control of GMR Chhattisgarh from GMR Infrastructure after adopting a restructuring plan last year that converted about 30 billion rupees of debt into about 52 percent of equity.

GMR Chhattisgarh comprises two 685-megawatt coal-power units that started operations in 2015 and 2016, according to GMR’s website. Spokesmen for Adani Power and GMR Infrastructure didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Adani Power, Vedanta Ltd., JSW Energy Ltd. and state-run NLC India Ltd. were among firms that submitted non-biding bids for the project, lender Power Finance Corp. said in a May 31 statement.

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