Essar, bankers to start due diligence for Hutch's HTL stake

Mumbai: Hutchison Essar Ltd's (HTL) Indian partner, the Essar group, along with its bankers is all set to start due diligence for acquiring its joint venture partner Hutchison Telecom's 67 per cent stake.

Essar, which claims to have funding support from banks to the tune of $25 billion, has appointed the five bankers - Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers - for the deal.

While Essar chairman Shashi Ruia had already announced the group's intention to buy out Hutchison Telecom's stake in the joint venture, sources said the group would start the due diligence process in a day or two.

The company has already received funding support to the tune of 25 billion dollars from these bankers. When contacted, an Essar spokesperson declined to comment. However, sources said the group.

While Ruia had said that there is no need for Essar to conduct a due diligence, sources pointed out that bankers who would be funding the deal would require to do a detailed analysis of the books of accounts of HTL.