Source : CNBC-TV18
Ispat Industries has a debt of about Rs 6500 crore. However, the company has plans for expansion, for which it wants to take the equity route. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Anil Sureka, ED Finance said that they expect debt to come down by close to Rs 800 crore over the next four quarters. He added that they will finance their capex plans via promoters, internal accruals and convertible instruments.
Talking about the company’s expansion plans, Sureka said they will up their HR coil capacity to 3.6 mt and will also add a blast furnace. A 4.5 mt pellet plant and a one mt coke over battery has also been planned. They will also be setting up a 1200 MW power plant costing about Rs 5000-5500 crore in Chhatisgarh
Sureka clarified that LN Mittal has showed no interest in Ispat Industries. According to him, steel prices will improve further on raw material pressures.
Excerpts of CNBC-TV18’s exclusive interview with Anil Sureka:
Q: Before we talk about your expansions, just talk to us a little bit about what you are doing on the capital side. You’ve got nearly Rs 7,000 crores of debt. How much of that are you in a position to repay over the next four quarters? Would you need to raise any equity to finance some of these expansion plans? Just give us a layout.
A: Today you must have seen that our company has given a notice to the stock exchange for giving a warrant to the sponsors and that meeting will be taking place on December 22. This is basically to raise the equity side and the expansion scheme which of which we are now are in the implementation process, most of the money will be raised through the equity rated instrument only. That is also the way we are going to correct our debt equity ratio.
Q: Could you throw some numbers here? How much money would be pumped in by the promoters specifically, what their stake would go up to, whether you would issue any equity to non-promoter shareholders and what the debt will come down to in the next four quarters?
A: In the next four quarters the debt will come down by close to Rs 800 crore. How much equity we allot to sponsors will be decided in the board meeting only. Normally in a year we can give 5% equity voting rights to the sponsors. So it will be within that range.
Q: Where does your total debt stand at right now?
A: It is actually Rs 6500 crore.
Q: There are all kinds of rumours circling the market and you would be the best person to address them. Is it true that the Mittal family is showing any kind of interest in Ispat and you are in any sort of talks with them for some kind of stake sale?
A: This company belongs to the Mittal family only, Pramod and Vinod own the company.
Q: We are talking about Lakshmi Mittal’s family out here?
A: No I don’t thinkso, there is no such thing.
Q: Along with the debt reduction, what kind of capacity addition plan is it that Ispat has over the next four-six quarters?
A: We have planned that we’ll increase the HR coil capacity to 3-3.6 million tonne and we are also adding a blast furnace to support the capacity. We have also planned a pellet plant of roughly 4.5 million tonne. These are the major capex plan we have launched.
In addition to these, we have also launched a coke oven battery of 1 million tonne capacity. That will be in a separate SPV and it will be in a joint venture. All other projects will be in Ispat Industry.
Q: Could you give us a timeline of when this coke oven and the pellet plant would be up and running? What is the total investment that is required for all these expansions that you are talking about?
A: The coke oven will cost roughly Rs 900 crore and the pellet plant and the 3.6 million tonne blast furnace it will cost roughly Rs 1600 crore. The timeline for the pellet plant is roughly 27-months, coke oven is about 24-months and the other project between 12-16 months time.
Q: What kind of pricing do you see steel holding over the next four-six months as you go through the process of cleaning out debt and expanding capacity as well?
A: The steel prices will further improve, that is the industrial view because there is a lot of pressure on raw materials also. Raw material prices are going up and everybody knows that next year, the way things are happening in the iron ore business, industrially also the prices will go up.
Everybody is expecting that there will be a bit of upward movement in the raw material and that it should be the same in the HR finish goods also.
Q: Give us some details on the power project in Chhattisgarh. What kind of investment it would entail, by when you expect to commence work out there and what the capital investment structure is out there?
A: First I would like to address the 110-megawatt power plant which is already in the construction. This will be commissioned by November 2008. This is based on the blast furnace gases at Dolvy and it will meet roughly 30% of the requirement of the steel plant. So that will bring down the cost of power substantially.
Now coming to Chhattisgarh, we have signed an MoU with the government of Chhattisgarh for setting up a power plant of 1200 megawatt. It should cost around Rs 5000-5500 crore. Presently we are in the process of tying up the fuel, once that is tied up, then we will do the other activities too like the environmental clearances of the sector, etc parallel to that. But this will all be in a separate company, not in Ispat Industry.
Q: Just to ask that question again, since it keeps cropping up, are you sure that Lakshmi Mittal and Vinod Mittal have had no discussions about any kind of a joint development plan or expansion plan under the Ispat umbrella in India?
A: To my knowledge I am 100% sure.
Q: One word as well on what exactly you might look at in this equity route to raise finances?
A: One, we are talking to the sponsors. This week we will have a meeting for the allotment of warrant to them and the Board will decide. The other is we are raising finances for this Rs 1600 capex that we have planned. This will be mostly support by the sponsors, it will be a combination – sponsors, intellectuals or maybe some convertible instruments.
Q: But no more debt will be loaded on balance sheet, right?
A: The debt burden will not be much, we are trying to bring down the debt.