* Jindal brothers both target Stemcor Indian assets
* Goldman Sachs appointed to find buyer-source
* At least four firms in talks with Stemcor over asset sale
By Krishna N Das and Silvia Antonioli
NEW DELHI/LONDON, July 24 JSW Steel,
India's third-largest steelmaker, has expressed interest in
buying British steel trader Stemcor's Indian iron ore assets,
joining at least three other interested parties, two sources at
the companies said.
Among the other firms interested, is steelmaker Jindal Steel
and Power, a firm run by Indian member of parliament
Naveen Jindal, brother of JSW Steel's boss Sajjan Jindal.
Their late father, Indian businessman and politician Prakash
Jindal founded the Jindal group, a steel and power empire made
of various companies that Naveen, Sajjan and their two brothers
"We are in talks but nothing has been finalized. We sent a
letter to Stemcor to convey to them interest," said a source at
JSW who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Stemcor declined to comment on the sale.
A JSW spokesman said he would not comment on any specific
proposals but added:"JSW Steel's business strategy is to
increase its backward integration in securing iron ore and
coking coal to feed its steel plants in India. The company
continuously scans and evaluates various proposals of strategic
Stemcor, the world's largest independent steel trading
company and the fifth-largest private company in Britain is
undergoing a restructuring phase.
The firm, controlled by the Oppenheimer family, has come
under pressure from lenders to sell some of its assets to raise
cash, since it failed to refinance a $850 million syndicated
loan that was due to mature in May.
Stemcor appointed Goldman Sachs to find a buyer
for its Indian assets which include a iron ore mine and iron
processing facilities in the state of Odisha, valued by an
industry source at about $700-750 million.
Goldman Sachs was not immediately available to comment on
Jindal Steel and Power CEO Ravi Uppal said in an interview
on Tuesday that it sees its iron ore needs trebling by 2015 and
confirmed its initial interest in the Stemcor assets.
"The whole thing is at a very early stage. We are looking
how this proposal makes sense to us," he said.
JSW posted revenue of about $6.4 billion in the latest
financial year while Jindal Steel and Power registered a
turnover of about $3.3 billion.
Stemcor, which trades between 15 million and 20 million
tonnes a year of steel and steel raw materials, including coal
and iron ore, posted a 5.1 billion pounds ($7.84
billion)turnover last year.