Mumbai: Ailing shipbuilder ABG Shipyard, which has been on the lookout for some time for a strategic investor, is now understood to be pinning its hopes on India’s richest man Dilip Shanghvi for a bailout.
Three independent sources with direct knowledge of the stake sale offer have revealed that Sun Pharmaceuticals promoter Shanghvi’s investment arm Dilip Shanghvi Family & Associates (DFA) has been approached to buy a 30% stake in ABG Shipyard for around INR20bn ($320m). Shanghvi had been declared by Forbes 2015 to be India’s richest businessman, ahead of Reliance group’s Mukesh Ambani.
Splash had reported on February 27 that ABG’s owners had been in talks with various business groups, including Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, the Mahindra Group, the Munjals of Hero Motors, and a couple of overseas institutional investors, including one from Singapore.
Mumbai-based engineering and shipping giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which owns a shipbuilding facility in Katupalli, is also believed to be in the running to buy a stake in the cash-strapped shipyard.
ABG Shipyard’s chairman Rishi Agarwal, whose family owns 62% of the shipbuilder’s equity, refused to confirm or deny Shanghvi’s interest in his company, but conceded that his group was in talks with several business conglomerates for a stake sale.
The company owns two shipbuilding facilities in Surat and Dahej, on the Gujarat coast, and a repair setup, Western India Shipyard, in Goa.