Essar Energy's largest shareholder says in talks to buy out firm

Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:05pm EST

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Feb 14 (Reuters) - Essar Energy Plc's largest shareholder, Essar Global Fund Limited, said it was considering making an offer for the 22 percent stake it does not own in the London-listed oil & gas company.

Essar Global could make an offer on its own or as part of a consortium at a premium to Essar Energy's Thursday close of 60 pence on the London Stock Exchange, the fund said in a statement.

The news sent Essar Energy's shares up as much as 22 percent. The stock was up 10 percent at 66 pence at 1637 GMT, making it one of the top percentage gainers on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index.

Essar Global also said it may also offer to buy Essar Energy's 4.25 percent convertible bonds due 2016 at a premium the bond's closing price on Thursday.

The fund had said in November that it would sell shares to dilute its 78.02 percent stake in Essar Energy so that the company met UK listing requirements, which mandates that at least 25 percent of a company's stock be available for trading.

Essar Global said on Friday that there was no certainty it would make an offer, and until then it would not transact in the shares of company even to meet the free float requirement. (Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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