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JSW Steel scouts for US deals after failed Ilva bid

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-06-2017 Bhuma Shrivastava

Mumbai: India’s biggest steelmaker JSW Steel Ltd. is looking at acquisition targets in the US to expand its presence in a sector that’s been boosted by President Donald Trump’s pledge to rebuild infrastructure and focus on local manufacturing.

“Our own steel mill there is doing well under the Trump administration,” Sajjan Jindal, JSW Steel’s chairman told reporters in Mumbai on Thursday. “We are looking at a few opportunities in the US” and the company also plans to start its US coal mines in the current year, he said.

JSW Steel recently became India’s biggest producer of the alloy as mills race to benefit from an expected infrastructure spend in Asia’s third-biggest economy. Jindal is expecting to ride the same wave in the US where Trump has promoted a plan to use $200 billion in federal funds to spur at least $800 billion in spending by states, municipalities and private entities that together own most US infrastructure.

JSW Steel has said that it is also scouting for downstream assets in Europe as part of a long-term strategy to be closer to its overseas markets. A JSW Steel-led consortium had bid for Italy’s Ilva steel operations but lost out to Am Investco Italy, an ArcelorMittal-led group.

The steelmaker’s board on Thursday approved raising up to $1 billion in one or more overseas markets and up to Rs8000 crore ($1.2 billion) via non-convertible debentures and equity share sales, according to an exchange filing. It also plans to spend Rs2,100 crore setting up a slurry pipeline to transport iron ore and coal in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, the company said.

Its shares rose 4%, the most in more than two months, to close at Rs205.35 in Mumbai on Thursday.

Jindal’s steel-to-mining conglomerate JSW Group has recently been in expansion mode as it scouts for steel assets in the US and Europe, stressed steel assets in India and charts an entry into a bevy of sectors such as paints, electric vehicles, regional aviation and the non-banking financial services sector. Bloomberg

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