Mumbai: Billionaire Gautam Adani is weighing a bid for the coal-fired power plants belonging to beleaguered Indian tycoon Anil Ambani that are currently being auctioned by an Indian bankruptcy court, according to people familiar with the matter.
Adani, fresh from a $2.8 billion capital raising, may face intense competition for Vidarbha Industries Power, which operates the 600-megawatt generation facilities in central India, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the plans are private.
Ambani’s Reliance Power is also considering making an offer for the asset in an attempt to win back control of the firm, one of the people said. Deliberations are ongoing and Adani and Reliance Power could decide not to proceed with formal offers, the people said. Reliance declined to comment, while an Adani Group spokesperson couldn’t immediately comment.
If Adani wins the plants they would add to his growing portfolio of coal power projects as the conglomerate attempts to recover from a devastating short-seller attack by Hindenburg Research in January, which erased more than $150 million from the group’s market value at one point.
The auction of Vidarbha Industries to an another company would also mark the further diminishment of Ambani, a former billionaire who has been battling creditors for years and fought a bitter succession battle with Mukesh, his elder brother and Asia’s richest man.
While Adani is looking at expanding his core fossil-fuel projects, people familiar with the matter said that Bain Capital and Carlyle Group are among potential bidders for a controlling stake of his shadow bank Adani Capital, as he looks to conserve cash and focus on key businesses.