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CIL may help Adani to develop Rs 12,000-cr mines

Sources said the talks are at an initial stage and a decision would only be taken after the completion of CIL's mega IPO - starting October 18 and ending October 21.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: October 13, 2010  | 17:14 IST

Adani Group has started talks with Coal India (CIL) to take on board the state-owned company as a partner for developing the Australian mines that it recently bought in a Rs 12,600-crore deal.

"Talks have opened up between an Adani Group firm and Coal India Ltd. Adani is seeking to rope in CIL for development of coal assets it recently bought in Australia for Rs 12,600 crore. There could be an equity partnership as well," a source privy to the development told PTI.

Neither Adani Group nor CIL could be reached for comments.

Another industry source said the talks are at a very initial stage and a decision would only be taken after the completion of CIL's mega initial public offer - October 18 to October 21.

Of late, Adani Enterprises, the country's largest coal importer, has traded with an aggressive approach in its overseas acquisition programmes.

CIL, the world's largest coal producer, has also outlined over Rs 5,000 crore for foreign acquisitions this financial year.

In August, in one of the largest coal mine deals by an Indian group, Adani Enterprises bought the Australia-based Linc Energy's Galilee coal tenement in Queensland, for about Rs 12,600 crore in a cash-and-royalty deal.

As part of the buy-out deal, the Group had paid Rs 2,100 crore in cash and is to make additional payment of about Rs 10,500 crore over the next 20 years in royalties to Linc on the 7.8-billion tonnes coal reserves.

In its efforts to secure more coal deposits overseas, Adani Enterprises also entered into a $1.65-billion deal with the Indonesian government and its mining company PT Bukit Asam for setting up rail and port infrastructure in the island nation and get exclusive rights to source coal to India.

Meanwhile, taking forward its global ambitions, CIL has shortlisted US firms Massey Energy and Peabody Energy, besides Indonesian Novem/Sinarma, for a possible partnership for their respective mines in Australia, Indonesia and the United States. In another arrangement, CIL shortlisted Peabody Energy and 11 others as possible partners for sourcing coal to India.

Coal India, which has domestic market share of over 80 per cent, has maintained it is sitting on a cash reserve of over Rs 30,000 crore to part-fund its growth projects and the proceeds of the IPO will go to the government.

The IPO is expected to generate over Rs 15,000 crore, which will be the biggest-ever share sale in India so far.

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