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    Default Ruias to infuse Rs 1,000 cr equity into Essar Steel

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    Promoters of Essar Steel will infuse an additional equity of up to Rs 1,000 crore into the loss-making steelmaker by acquiring its shares on a preferential basis.

    The Ruia family, led by Shashi and Ravi Ruia, are the promoters of the company through Essar Steel Asia Holdings Ltd, Mauritius.

    "The move is aimed at meeting the company's capex and operational requirements as well as strengthening the capital base," Essar said in its Annual General Meeting notice while seeking shareholders approval.

    The AGM is scheduled to be held on Saturday in Hazira, Gujarat.

    The capital infusion by the promoters will also help the company in reducing strain on its balance sheet as its consolidated net loss had widened by over 2.5 times in the last fiscal to Rs 5,105 crore.

    Its interest payments had also risen by over 32 per cent to Rs 2,955 crore, while the current liabilities (Rs 21,498.48 crore) have exceeded its current assets (Rs 9,593.19 crore) by Rs 11,905.29 crore in 2012-13.

    The unlisted leading steelmaker has proposed to make the preferential allotment in next 12 months to the promoters.

    Following this, promoters' stake in the company will increase marginally by 0.18 per cent to 97.45 per cent.

    "Resolved that...consent of the company be and is hereby accorded to the Board of Directors of the company to issue and allot...on preferential basis such number of equity shares... for an amount not exceeding Rs 1,000 crore to Essar Steel Asia Holdings Ltd, Mauritius/Essar Steel Ltd, Mauritius...," the company said in the AGM notice.

    According to the Annual Report of Essar, its promoters infused Rs 764.86 crore equity into the company between November 2012 and June 2013 by acquiring over 16.81 crore shares.

    As of March 2013, the company's paid up equity capital was Rs 2,798.20 crore.

    "In order to raise balance funds and to meet fund requirements, enabling resolution is required as proposed at item no 10 of the (AGM) notice," the company said.

    The company said it has approached a Chartered Accountant for valuation of shares and number of shares to be allotted would be decided accordingly.

    Last month, the company had taken shareholders approval to raise a minimum of Rs 2,241 crore by selling three non-core assets for paring some of its $4 billion (around Rs 26,000 crore) debt and reducing the strain on its balance sheet.

    Essar also has plans to raise $2 billion through pre- export finance to retire majority of its rupee-denominated debt and is aiming to complete its during the current fiscal.

    The move would help the company in reducing interest costs by about Rs 850 crore, enhancing loan tenure and negating the impact of fluctuation in currency rates.

    Essar Steel, which has invested Rs 37,000 crore to increase its capacity to 10 MTPA, has already secured Reserve Bank of India's permission for raising dollar *****.



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