July 20, 2007 / 5:24 AM / 11 years ago

ABG Shipyard in race for Western India Shipyard-report

MUMBAI, July 20 (Reuters) - ABG Shipyard Ltd. (ABGS.BO) is in the race to buy out Western India Shipyard Ltd. WSHP.BO for an undisclosed sum, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Friday.

Bharati Shipyard (BHAR.BO), Larsen & Toubro (LART.BO) and the Dempo group are the other contenders, the newspaper said. ICICI Bank (ICBK.BO) is co-ordinating the sale, the paper said quoting sources.

While an ABG Shipyard official refused to comment immediately, Bharati Shipyard confirmed it had bid for Western India Shipyard.

Indian shipyards have been on an expansion spree for some time that included takeovers as demand for new ships picked up sharply.

In May, ABG Shipyard took over unlisted Vipul Shipyard in Gujarat state for an undisclosed sum. In April, Bharati Shipyard bought out the shipbuilding machinery of 130-year-old Swan Hunter (Tyneside) Shipyard Ltd. from England to southern India.

Western Shipyard’s loans have been restructured but since the debt has increased, the only option left for the lenders is to exit the company, the report said quoting sources.

((Reporting by Arpan Mukherjee; editing by Sunil Nair; Reuters Messaging: arpan.mukherjee.reuters.com@reuters.net; +91 22 6636 9058)) Keywords: WESTERNINDIA ABG/TAKEOVER

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