Apr 21, 2014, 3:42 pm (BST)
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Tata Power in talks for buying stake in South Africa coal project
Johannesburg/New Delhi, Apr 7 (BSS/PTI) Tata Power yesterday said it is in talks with energy company Sekoko Resources to acquire stake in a coal project in South Africa, even as another partner in the African venture said that the Indian firm's bid has been rejected.

The project, being eyed by Tata Power, is reportedly a partnership between South Africa-based Sekoko Resources and Firestone Energy.

Firestone Energy said in a statement, dated April 3, said it has rejected Tata Power's offer as the same undervalues the project.

Reacting to reports in South African media about Tata Power's bid getting rejected, the Indian company said it was in discussions with Sekoko for the project, and Firestone had no business to state about its offer.

"Tata Power submitted offer to Sekoko Resources, who are in discussions with Tata Power. Firestone is an investor in their company and has no business to issue any statement," a Tata Power spokesperson told PTI in an e- mailed statement on Friday.

Firestone Energy had said that it received an offer from Tata Power to invest in its joint venture with Sekoko Resources to develop a coal mine in the Waterberg area of South Africa.

"Following consideration of the offer the board of Firestone has decided to reject the offer for reasons including that in the opinion of directors the offer materially undervalues the value built up in the project to-date," Firestone Energy said in its statement.

In another statement, Sekoko CEO Jan Britz had said that this was a Firestone decision. "It undervalued the project in their estimation. We are in talks with Tata Power," Britz noted.

South African daily 'Business Day' has reported that Tata Power offered R480 million for the stake in the project.

Tata Power had based its bid on a valuation of R1 billion, while the true value of the asset was R1.6 billion, Sekoko Chairman Tim Tebeila told the daily.

"I was expecting (Tata Power) to come up with a good value, but it's not a major setback because we have a good asset," Tebeila said.
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