Thapar seeking to sell his share in Crompton Greaves?

Billionaire Gautam Thapar has put Crompton Greaves, long the flagship company of his Avantha Group, up for sale, according to an Economic Times report citing two persons familiar with the development.

Part of his family's heritage for as long as India has been independent, the power transmission and distribution company is the biggest unit of the $4-billion Avantha Group. Goldman Sachs has been informally tasked with finding a buyer.

Thapar wants to sell his controlling 42.7 per cent stake to an overseas company seeking to establish itself the Indian power transmission and distribution sector, said the report.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment. "As a policy across the Avantha Group, we do not respond to rumours and market speculations," the spokeswoman said in reply to a questionnaire. There was no response to text messages sent to Thapar.

The promoters expect the company to be valued at $3 billion (Rs18,000 crore) against the current market valuation of about Rs9,500 crore, according to the report citing one of its sources.

"There is keen interest from global players.However, it would be premature to estimate the right valuation," this person said.