Essar Energy's largest shareholder seen capping bid at 75 pence: report

LONDON Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:24am EST

Employees walk past an Essar Group logo outside their headquarters in Mumbai May 20, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Employees walk past an Essar Group logo outside their headquarters in Mumbai May 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash

LONDON (Reuters) - Essar Energy's (ESSR.L) majority shareholder is expected to make a bid for the remainder of shares it does not own in the coming days at a price tag of no more than 75 pence per share, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper did not give its source for the figure.

The shareholder, Essar Global Fund, had said on Friday it was considering an offer for its missing 22 percent stake at a "modest" premium to the company's Thursday closing price of 60 pence.

The Indian oil and gas company's stock has been steadily declining since its London listing four years ago that started at 420 pence.

Standard Life, which holds a minority stake in Essar Energy, said that Essar Global's plans would deprive small shareholders of the company's future growth value.

"This potential bid is an example of cynical opportunism and should not be allowed to proceed," David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life Investments, said in a statement sent to journalists.

The Sunday Times reported that Russian bank VTB will finance Essar Global's bid.

Essar Energy and Essar Global declined to comment.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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