The government plans to invite interest in the divestment of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and its subsidiaries by the end of January 2023.

Tata Steel, JSW Steel and Adani Group had shown “strong interest” in the entity during pre-bid consultations held in early December, said people familiar with the development. “We have received very positive feedback for RINL during the roadshow. Seven companies, including Tata Steel, Adani Group and JSW Steel, have expressed strong interest,” said one of the sources, who wished to remain anonymous.

The center held a roadshow in November last week for strategic sales, followed by another consulting round on December 2, which was attended by all major steel companies.

JSW Steel declined to respond to ET’s inquiries. Inquiries sent to Tata Steel and Adani Group remained unanswered as of press time.

Tata Steel TV CEO Narendran was quoted in media reports as saying that the company would be interested in buying the plant, calling it a “huge opportunity” due to its coastal location.


‘Working on the Transaction Structure’

The approximately 22,000 hectares of land owned by RINL is a key attraction for potential bidders, as is its proximity to Gangavaram Port, which is owned by the Adani Group.

The company’s valuation is likely to be finalized by the end of December, the person said, adding that the government proposed selling 100% of the shares at once. “We aim to divest all shares at once depending on valuation… This matter is under review and will be resolved soon,” said the person.

“We are working on the structure of the transaction,” Secretary of the Public Investment and Asset Management Department Tuhin Kanta Pandey told ET, but declined to divulge details.

The center also held a round of discussions with the company’s employees’ union, which opposed the proposed sale, and ensured that employees’ interests would be protected when deciding on the terms and conditions of the strategic sale.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has granted approval in principle in January 2021 for the strategic 100% sale of the government’s stake in RINL.

The company is among the top six steel producers in the country, with an annual capacity of around 7.5 million tonnes. It supplies structural steel to many players, including ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel. The company reported a profit of Rs 913 crore and a turnover of Rs 28,215 crore for 2021-22.

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