November 4, 2016 / 12:11 PM / 3 years ago

India's Jindal Stainless may bid for stake in SAIL's Salem plant

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Jindal Stainless (JINA.NS) said on Friday it would consider buying a majority stake in a money-losing plant which Steel Authority of India (SAIL.NS) is selling under pressure from the government.

“We were interested even last year,” Ashok Kumar Gupta, finance head of Jindal Stainless (Hisar), told Reuters on Friday. “We will look at it.”

The Salem stainless steel plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu was among more than a dozen public sector enterprises identified by India’s cabinet last week for strategic sale.

Jindal is the only party interested in buying the 614,200 tonnes-per-year plant whose annual loss grew by 40 percent in the year to March 31, a steel ministry source said.

Salem has lost money for at least four years. SAIL has reported five straight quarterly losses hurt by a sharp fall in steel prices and imports from China.

SAIL was not available for immediate comment.

Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; editing by Jason Neely

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