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Billionaire Krishnan Said to Consider KSK Investment

Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan’s Usaha Tegas Sdn. plans to invest in India’s KSK Energy Ventures Ltd., according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Usaha Tegas may provide as much as $250 million, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the deal hasn’t yet been announced. The closely held company may split the funds between KSK Energy and its power projects, and is likely to later increase its investments, the people said.

“The money would help KSK Energy in bringing down the debt equity ratio,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, chief strategist at SMC Capitals Ltd. in New Delhi. “Power sector companies are hungry for money” and “there is a demand supply mismatch for power in India.”

Investing in KSK Energy may help Krishnan, 72, tap demand in the world’s third-fastest growing major economy as the nation builds power plants to reduce blackouts. India is studying options to set up a 500 billion rupee ($11 billion) power infrastructure fund to facilitate the construction of electricity generation capacity.

KSK Energy, part owned by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., rose 6.6 percent to 176.35 rupees at close of trading 3:30 p.m. in Mumbai trading, its biggest closing gain since Oct. 28.

Ralph Marshall, a director at Usaha Tegas, didn’t respond to e-mails and call seeking comment. Rohit Mathur, spokesman for KSK Energy, said the Hyderabad-based company isn’t in talks with Usaha Tegas.

Billionaire Investments

Krishnan is Malaysia’s richest person after Robert Kuok, with his wealth estimated at $8.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The billionaire controls Maxis Bhd., Malaysia’s biggest mobile-phone operator, and has interests in real estate, marine transport and oil and gas companies.

KSK Energy operates four thermal-power plants with a combined capacity of 279 megawatts, has three facilities aggregating 4,183 megawatts under construction and plans to build three plants of 5,400 megawatts, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: George Smith Alexander in Mumbai galexander11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff St.Onge jstonge@bloomberg.net

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