Jindal Steel & Power, India’s third-largest alloy producer by market value, and two other groups were the latest to express interest in bidding for Reliance Naval & Engineering, sources said.
For Jindal Steel, controlled by Naveen Jindal, Reliance Naval may be a captive customer for the company’s shipbuilding plates, said Vidya Rattan Sharma, managing director of the steelmaker, who confirmed Jindal’s bankruptcy interest. Dubai-based shipping company GMS and Kotak Special Situations Fund were among others who registered to bid by the February 28 deadline, according to people, who asked not to be identified.
The process of finding a buyer for the indebted shipyard, once controlled by former billionaire Anil Ambani, began in May with deadlines already extended four times. A successful sale of Reliance Naval will help creditors, including IDBI Bank and SBI, recover some of the company’s 10,800 crore in debt.
GMS, one of the world’s largest buyers of recycling vessels, the Kotak Fund and Sudip Bhattacharya, the insolvency resolution professional for Reliance Naval, did not immediately respond to emails for comment. “We look at it in two ways,” Sharma of Jindal Steel said in an interview. “One is the strategic location because it is based on the port and the other is that it can be a good outlet to consume our own plates.”
Jindal is not partnering with any company for the offer, Sharma said. The port unit of AP Moller-Maersk A / S, the world’s largest container carrier, and 11 other groups bid for the asset last year. Maersk’s unit withdrew, however, the Hindu Businessline reported in October.