Essar to raise $2.5 b from London listing

Essar Energy Ltd, a holding company for the Group’s energy businesses, will sell 20 to 25 per cent stake to institutional investors in the UK to raise funds for power, refinery and oil and gas exploration projects.

The company filed ‘intention to float’ document with UK regulatory authorities and will list on the London Stock Exchange in the “coming week,” Essar Energy Vice Chairman Prashant Ruia told a media conference call. Essar Group will retain a minimum of 75 per cent in Essar Energy, which is incorporated in the UK and has its registered office in London and its head office in Mauritius. The company may file a prospectus and start roadshows from April 19 and may start taking orders from institutional buyers by late April.

The share sale will be the biggest by an Indian firm overseas through an initial offering, but behind Reliance Power’s US$2.9 billion IPO in the domestic market in 2008.

ICICI Bank had raised about $5 billion through follow-on sales in two tranches one each in in the US and India in 2007.

The IPO would be the largest in London since Scotish insurer Standard Life Plc’s US$4.5 billion offering in July 2006. The listing could make it the first Indian company to enter London’s main market since Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources seven years ago.

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