April 22, 2019 / 1:46 PM / 6 months ago

GAIL highest bidder for IL&FS wind assets with $689 million offer

Birds fly past the logo of India's state-owned natural gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd installed on its corporate office building in New Delhi, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

(Reuters) - GAIL (India) Ltd is set to complete the purchase seven wind power plants from India’s debt-ridden Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS), after offering 48 billion rupees ($689.3 million), IL&FS said on Monday.

The deal is expected to close within three weeks.

GAIL’s offer contemplates no hair-cut to the debt of the plants, which is around 37 billion rupees, IL&FS said.

Last year, sources told Reuters that GAIL would not consider buying the entire wind energy assets of IL&FS unless offered at a steep discount.

The Indian government replaced IL&FS’ entire board earlier this month after recent defaults on some of its debt obligations triggered sharp declines in stock and debt markets, leading to fears about contagion in India’s financial sector.

IL&FS has initiated the sale several assets, including road and education, to pay off its debt.

($1 = 69.6350 Indian rupees)

Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha and James Emmanuel

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