Billionaire Ananda Krishnan may invest US$250mil in India’s KSK

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan’s Usaha Tegas Sdn aims to invest in India’s KSK Energy Ventures Ltd, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Usaha Tegas may provide as much as US$250mil, one of the people said, declining to be named before an announcement.

The closely-held group might spilt the funds between KSK Energy and its power projects, and was likely to later increase its investments, the people said.

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 wasn’t in talks with Usaha Tegas.

Investing in KSK Energy may help Ananda, 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 (US$11bil) power infrastructure fund to facilitate the construction of electricity generation capacity.

KSK Energy, part owned by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, surged 8.8% to 180 rupees at 1:30 p.m. in Mumbai trading, headed for its biggest closing gain in more than a year.

Ananda is Malaysia’s richest person after Robert Kuok, with his wealth estimated at US$8.1bil, 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 279MW, has three facilities aggregating 4,183MW under construction and plans to build three plants of 5,400MW, according to its website. — Bloomberg

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