Jindal announces $464m Shadeed deal

20 May 2010

India steel giant finally acquires Omani steel plant after months of speculation

India’s Jindal Group says it has acquired the Shadeed Iron & Steel plant in Oman from Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ghaith Holdings (AGH) for $464m, five days after releasing a statement saying it had aborted plans to buy the facility.

The deal ends months of speculation about the future of the 1.5 million tonnes-a-year (t/y) steel plant located at Sohar Industrial Port in the northern Batinah region of the sultanate. Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Steel Industries were the initial favourites to buy the facility before Jindal entered the race with a rival bid.

The figure of $464m is lower than the original $500m asking price, although it is unknown whether the statement Jindal released last week regarding its plant to abort the sale due to a number of reasons including an issue over ownership, had any effect on the asking price.

A source familiar with the facility also tells MEED that previous worries over gas allocations for the plant have resurfaced.

“The Omani government requested that any new buyer of Shadeed must first discuss with them the new terms and conditions of the gas allocation,” the source says. “The earlier commitment of gas has gone.”

However, Jindal’s acquisition announcement will come as a relief to staff at the plant. MEED reported last week that commissioning had not started due to missing plant equipment and that staff were not being paid. Jindal’s statement did not give a timeline as to when the plant would start commissioning, nor did it make any comment regarding the paying of staff wages.

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