Essar Group signals embarking on investment-led growth plan

The USD 10 billion energy-to-technology conglomerate Essar is looking to embark on a new phase of investment-led growth on the strength of a substantially lighter balance sheet arising from repayment of Rs 1.4 lakh crore loans over the last three years, the promoter Ruia family has said.

Despite losing Essar Steel in insolvency proceedings, cash flows remain strong, with Rs 1,00,000 crore of revenues from existing businesses. The group has kickstarted its 50th-anniversary celebrations with an aggressive influencer outreach.

In a mailer sent to Union ministers, chief ministers and top bureaucrats, the Essar Group has indicated that it is “poised to embark on a new phase of growth while driving growth in its existing portfolio.”

Essar did not specify what the new growth areas could be, but said it is “armed with a substantially lighter balance sheet” after it took “a conscious call of reducing its debt in response to evolving domestic and evolving economic scenario.”

The letter was jointly signed by Ravi Ruia and Prashant Ruia.

“In the largest debt reduction exercise in the history of corporate India, we have paid about Rs 140,000 crore (USD 20 billion) of debt to the banking system over the last 3 years,” the promoter Ruia family wrote in the letter.

In a clear affirmation that it had put the past behind, they said: “Our strong portfolio of companies consistently generates healthy and sustainable earnings and have combined revenue of about Rs 1,00,000 crore (USD 14 billion).”

The group claimed that its ambition to create world-class businesses has not been thwarted by business and regulatory challenges in the mainstream steel and power business.

ET Energy World
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