Vedanta outbids JSPL for Athena

Vedanta, promoted by Anil Agarwal, became the highest bidder for bankrupt Athena Chhattisgarh Power Ltd, outbidding Naveen Jindal’s Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) in a bidding process that lasted 28 hours, ET two told people familiar with the development.

Resource conglomerate Vedanta’s final offer of ₹565 crore was much higher than the ₹400 crore installment payment it had offered under the Corporate Insolvency and Resolution Process (CIRP). The bidding process, which started on the morning of May 6, ended the next day, the people said.

The Hyderabad National Company Court ordered the thermal power project to be liquidated in May 2021 after the required majority of lenders rejected a plan submitted by Vedanta Ltd offering an installment payment of ₹400 crore over a period of five years. The court ordered the sale of the thermal company in an ongoing process.

RBSA advisers, who acted as transaction advisers to the resolution professional (RP), declined to comment. Vedanta and JSPL did not respond to ET’s request for comment.

Vedanta’s bid of ₹565 crore is 16% higher than the reserve price of ₹485.3 crore set for the auction. The auction process of the Athena Chhattisgarh Power started in December 2021 with a reserve price of Rs 1,503 crore, according to the first auction notice. However, since the liquidator received no bids in the first rounds, it was lowered with each successive bid.

RBSA-backed liquidator Kumar Rajan admitted claims of ₹12,049 crore from secured lenders, employees, the state and traders.

Vedanta and JSPL were watching Athena Chhattisgarh for captive purposes given the shortage of power supply.

“The acquisition of this energized power plant bodes well for renewed private sector interest in the power sector, which has been plagued by challenges such as discom stress, availability of coal and lower electricity tariffs,” said Mitali Shah, managing director of RBSA. Advisors.

The partially completed thermal power plant comprises two units of 600 MW each. Coal requirements, estimated at 5.26 MTPA, would be supplied from nearby coal blocks – Fatehpur East Block – SECL mines, people familiar with the development said.

ACPL is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), promoted by Athena Energy Ventures (AEVPL) – a joint venture between Athena Projects Private Limited, PTC India and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC).

After the company defaulted, the lenders acquired 51% of the company by converting some of the debt into equity.

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