Seven bidders submit آ‘EOIsآ’ for Dabhol

Vol 5, PW 25 (13 Feb 02) Midstream & Downstream

LENDERS TO THE Enron-promoted Dabhol Power Company are looking for a financial advisor to sell 85% of the stricken project.

Last week overseas and Indian lenders interviewed several investment bankers, among them DSP Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and N.M Rothschild & Sons.

"A decision will be taken in a few days time," reveals a source involved in the selection process. Efforts to sell DPC gathered momentum on 29th January when Industrial Development Bank of India invited 'expressions of interest' by 7th February through a series of newspaper adverts.

A schedule for completion of the bidding process will be decided next week. "We are not going to put unreasonable deadlines but we are keen to expedite the process," he adds.

"We are aware the situation is dynamic and complex." IDBI has received 'expressions of interest' from seven bidders: Reliance, BSES, Tata Power, GAIL, British Gas, Gaz de France and Shell. Contrary to news reports, TotalFinaElf decided on 12th February not to participate.

Due diligence should begin next week and most of the interested buyers have signed confidentiality agreements. Gaz de France has submitted an 'expression of interest' but is unhappy with the initial $100,000 up front deposit.

Talks are on with IDBI to reduce this figure.