Essar Ports Surges After Reports Adani in Acquisition Talks

Shares of Essar Ports Ltd. were poised for the biggest gain since Oct. 13 after reports billionaire Gautam Adani-owned Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. is in talks to buy the company. Essar denied the plan.

Essar Ports rose 9 percent to 127.65 rupees as of 11 a.m. in Mumbai, after jumping as much as 20 percent, its daily limit. The shares have gained 22 percent this year to their highest level since April 2011, compared with an 8.6 percent advance in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. Adani Ports climbed 0.8 percent to 339.35 rupees.

Adani Ports is in talks to buy Essar Ports for about 150 billion rupees ($2.4 billion), Bloomberg TV India first reported yesterday in a Twitter Inc. post, citing people it didn’t identify. The market value of Essar Ports, owned by billionaire brothers Shashikant and Ravikant Ruia, is 55 billion rupees, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Essar Ports denied the sale talks in an e-mailed response to questions. Adani Group spokesman Roy Paul didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Essar Ports, whose board in October approved a plan to delist the shares of the company, has the capacity to handle 104 million metric tons of liquid and dry cargo at three facilities in India, according to its website. The company is in the process of raising capacity by 87 percent to 194 million tons, according to the website.

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