ArcelorMittal, VTB Group Are Said to Compete for Essar Steel

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ArcelorMittal is competing with a consortium led by Russia’s VTB Group as bids come in for Essar Steel India Ltd., the largest distressed steelmaker being sold under the country’s insolvency process, people with knowledge of the matter said, Bloomberg News reported. An Indian unit of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest producer of the alloy, submitted an offer, it confirmed in a statement Monday. Essar Steel could fetch a valuation of at least $6 billion in a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Essar Steel received only two bids by the Monday deadline, after domestic rival Tata Steel Ltd. decided against pursuing an offer, according to the people. A new Indian bankruptcy law designed to clear out distressed companies has set off a contest for more than $26 billion of steel assets, spurring interest from foreign and domestic metals giants. Essar Steel has been hurt by weak demand and reduced gas supply that affected production. The company was owned by billionaire brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia before being brought under the insolvency resolution process in August. Read more.