Dunlop withdraws from SAIL unit bid

Kolkata, May 18 | Updated: May 19 2006, 05:40am hrs
Pawan Kumar Ruia, the new owner of Dunlop, has pulled out of the race to acquire Steel Authority of India Ltd's (SAIL) facility at Kulti in West Bengal leaving Bhushan Steel, Ruchi Group and Tata Metaliks in the fray. Though Pawan Ruia denied that he had pulled out of the race, sources in SBI Capital Market said he is not participating in the technical bid.

While the reason why Ruia has followed up the bid process could not be ascertained, sources said the state of the Kulti plant has put a question mark on the attractiveness of the offer.

The Kulti plant has remained closed for nearly two years and the viability of the technology in the foundry and the pipe making facility is also an issue. This could be one of the reasons why some parties might have opted out. However, we are interested in the offer as we believe the site of the assets on offer and the land that comes along with it is located in an industrial zone close to a captive market, officials of Tata Metaliks said.

In the meantime, SAIL and the West Bengal government, which have been holding the lease rights of the 240 acres on which the plant in Kulti and related facilities are located, have decided to make the offer more attractive by adding 548 acres in a bid to make a reasonable valuation of the assets and the plant which was closed down in March 2003.

Sweetening The Deal

SAIL and the WB govt have decided to make the offer more attractive by adding 548 acres in a bid
Winning bidder will now be offered a golf course and the land where the vacated housing colony is located and other assets

The winning bidder will now be offered a golf course and the land where the vacated housing colony is located and other assets, which were not part of the offer document, officials of SAIL said.

The foundry and a cast iron spun pipe making facility in Kulti, belonging to Indian Iron & Steel Company Ltd, was recently put on the block by SAIL after it merged Iisco, the oldest steel making plant in the country, with itself. According to the offer documents, given out to the prospective bidders, the winning bidder would get only the manufacturing facilities like the main foundry works, the light casting works, a DVC power sub-station and a water pumping station.