Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

India's Essar 'planning UK share listing'

Essar power station
Essar is one of India's largest companies

Indian conglomerate Essar Group is reported to be planning to float on the London Stock Exchange, a move that could raise up to $3bn (£2bn).

If the flotation does goes ahead, it would be the biggest overseas listing to date by an Indian company.

Reports say Essar, whose interests range from oil and gas production to steelmaking and shipping, is planning to sell a 20% stake in the business.

Essar neither confirmed nor denied the speculation.

"Essar Group is always looking at a range of different funding options but has not yet made any specific decision with regards to its future financing," it said in a statement.

"The group works with a range of financial advisers to assist the group."

According to the reports, Essar has hired banks JPMorgan Cazenove and Deutsche Bank to organise the share listing.

Analysts say Essar wants to raise funds to pay for its expansion plans.

Telecom investments

Essar is run by billionaire brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia.

The company's other business interests include telecoms, and it is the Indian partner of UK group Vodafone. Together they own Vodafone Essar, the country's third-largest mobile phone network.

Essar also owns a number of Indian ports.

Over the weekend, Essar announced that it had signed a deal to buy US coal producer Trinity Coal Partners from US private equity group Denham Capital for $600m.

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