Gautam Adani's energy unit set to acquire GMR thermal power plant

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s energy unit is nearing a deal to acquire a 1,370-megawatt thermal power plant backed by GMR Infrastructure, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Adani Power Ltd. will take over about Rs 38 billion ($543 million) of loans out of a total of Rs 58 billion that GMR Chhattisgarh Energy owes, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Adani Power will also assume non-funded liabilities of about Rs 14 billion, the sources said.

The RBI is attempting to clean up more than $210 billion of soured debt on bank balance sheets and has previously asked lenders to take about 40 large defaulters to bankruptcy court lest overdue borrowings slow growth in Asia’s third-largest economy. In February, it introduced new rules and a timeline for delinquent loans to be recast.

A deal is likely to be announced in the next few weeks after lenders give a formal approval, the people said. Lenders took control of GMR Chhattisgarh from GMR Infrastructure after adopting a restructuring plan last year that converted about Rs 30 billion of debt into about 52 percent of equity.

GMR Chhattisgarh comprises two 685-megawatt coal-power units that started operations in 2015 and 2016, according to GMR’s website. Spokesmen for Adani Power and GMR Infrastructure didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Adani Power, Vedanta, JSW Energy and state-run NLC India were among firms that submitted non-biding bids for the project, lender Power Finance Corporation said in a May 31 statement.