Steel czar Lakshmi N Mittal is keen on selling half of his stake in a Kazakhstan oil field to state-run ONGC Videsh Ltd to tide over the severe financial constraint affecting his planned expansion in the energy sector.
Mittal Investment Sarl, the holding firm of the Mittal family’s interest in the world’s largest steel firm, ArcelorMittal, had in April 2007 acquired a 25 per cent stake in Caspian Investments Resources from Russian oil firm Lukoil for $980 million.
The acquisition was originally to be done by ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd (OMEL), the equal joint venture of OVL and Mittal Investment, but the India-born billionaire went ahead on his own, citing opposition to OMEL from Lukoil. He has since been delaying transferring the assets to OMEL, citing opposition by the Kazakhstan government.
But having lost a fortune in the economic meltdown, Mittal is now keen on selling half his stake in CIR, or 12.5 per cent, to OVL, industry sources say.