JSW looks to boost Indian steel plate, bar output with Monnet Ispat bid

India’s JSW has launched a bid to purchase steelmaker Monnet Ispat Steel, representatives of both companies confirmed to Metal Bulletin on Monday January 29.

If successful, the acquisition would give JSW a stronger presence in the Indian domestic plate and bar sectors, where it currently trails competitors including Essar Steel and Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL).

Monnet Ispat owns an integrated steel plant in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh with capacity to produce a combined 1.5 million tpy of rebar, plate and structural profiles. The company is undergoing insolvency proceedings.

Unlike Monnet Ispat, JSW has focused the majority of its production capacity on rolled coil products.

Between April and December 2017, JSW produced 8.46 million tonnes of flat products – with the majority being coil material – and 2.48 million tonnes of long products including rebar, wire rod and bloom in the same period, according to a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange on January 10.

Metal Bulletin’s price assessment for domestic secondary rebar was 34,000-34,200 rupees ($533.71-536.85) per tonne ex works on Friday January 26, compared with 34,300-34,500 per tonne ex works one week before.

The steelmaking giant is partnering with finance company Aion Capital Partners and is the only bidder in the running for the Monnet Ispat asset, the JSW spokesman said.

JSW’s bid is worth approximately 37 billion rupees, according to the Monnet Ispat representative.

“We first submitted the bid back in December and we are waiting to hear back from the authorities,” the JSW spokesman said.

JSW started the bidding with a value of 35 billion rupees, but the company agreed to raise its bid by 2 billion rupees at the request of lenders, according to a report by Bloomberg Quint on Monday January 29.

A decision is expected to be made around mid-February, the JSW representative said.

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