India's Tata Power said yesterday it would buy a 30 percent stake each in three companies owned by Indonesian mining outfit Bumi Resources for a total of US$1.1 billion, a move aimed at securing coal supplies for its upcoming power plants.
This is the second biggest overseas acquisition by the Tata Group, which sealed a deal in January to buy European steel maker Corus Group PLC for US$11.3 billion.
Tata Power Co, part of India's sprawling Tata conglomerate, said in a statement that it had agreed to pay cash for three 30 percent stakes in coal producer Kaltim Prima Coal, Arutmin Indonesia and a related trading company -- all owned by PT Bumi Resources.
The statement described the two coal producing companies as "world class assets" with "robust financial performance." It did not give the name of the trading firm.
The Tata Group, with interests ranging from salt to steel and software, is the most aggressive among Indian companies seeking overseas acquisitions to gain global visibility after thriving for decades in a protected home market.
"This purchase supports Tata Power's upcoming power projects on the west coast of India," the Tata statement said about the Indonesian acquisition.
The power plants along the west coast, with a total capacity of 7,000 megawatts, will be completed in five years and would annually require nearly 21 million tonnes of imported coal, the statement said.
The acquisition comes amid rising coal prices because of a shortage in supplies from some exporting countries.
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