Hyderabad: Trying to keep control over the nation’s first ultra-mega power project, Lanco Infratech Ltd, the flagship company of Lanco Group, teamed with Jindal Steel and Power Ltd to acquire the assets of Globeleq Singapore Pte Ltd. The value of the transaction was not revealed.
With this deal, Lanco has effectively bought out its joint venture partner, Globeleq Singapore, in the 4,000 MW project coming up at a cost Rs16,000 crore at Sasan in MP.
Several Indian companies, including Lanco, had bid to acquire these Globeleq assets after it decided to pull out of emerging markets and divest its power assets as a part of a restructuring programme suggested by Lehman Brothers. The acquisition of the Singapore unit’s equity holding was done through Lanco Infratech's Mauritius-based holding company Princestone Investments Ltd. Princestone will hold 60% in the Singapore unit and the balance 40% will be held by JSPL.
While some rivals maintained that the buy-out by Globeleq would alter the terms of the contract binding Lanco in its joint venture for Sasan, officials from Power Finance Corporation, the nodal agency for development, said, “theoretically this development does not change anything. We will have to legally examine the issue.”
A senior official at NTPC Ltd, which was one of the losing bidders, said: “Globeleq cannot dilute its stake.We will ask for rebidding. This also does not mean that the project automatically go to the next successful bidder, Reliance Energy Ltd.”
In a statement, Lanco Infratech said JSPL was a pre-qualified bidder for the Sasan power project. With this acquisition, GS becomes an affiliate of the Jindal Company. GS will retain its interest in the Sasan UMPP under the new ownership structure. “We have taken the legal opinion and there is no change in the bidding consortium,” said Rajeev Aggarwal, assistant vice president, JSPL.
The project would be implemented in four-and-a-half years time from then, Lanco said.
Utpal Bhaskar contributed to the story