By Devidutta Tripathy and Jatindra Dash
BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) - Sajjan Jindal, the billionaire chairman of the metals to cement conglomerate JSW Group, confirmed that JSW Steel is in a consortium looking to buy the beleaguered Ilva steel plant in Italy.
"We are working on it. It will not need much investment," Jindal told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in the eastern state of Bhubaneswar, declining to elaborate.
JSW Steel, the flagship steel company of the group, has been eyeing the loss-making Ilva steel plant for several months. Reuters reported on Wednesday that JSW Steel had signed an agreement with Italian lender CDP, businessman Leonardo del Vecchio's holding company and steelmaker Arvedi to make the bid.
The bid is expected to be made by a consortium called Acciaitalia, which means Steel is Italy. JSW will hold 35 percent, Arvedi 10 percent and the remaining stake will be distributed among two more players, said a source who declined to be named.
Jindal, which expanded its steel capacity to 18 million tonnes earlier this year, will produce 15 million tonnes of saleable steel in its financial year to the end of March 2017. Its capital expenditure for the year will be 60-80 billion rupees ($2 billion).
($1 = 68.3199 Indian rupees)
(Additional reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio in Rome; writing by Promit Mukherjee; editing by David Clarke)