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Report: Numetal declines debt settlement, drops out of Essar Steel bid

Numetal declined to proceed with the settlement of at least 490 billion Indian rupees in debt by associated companies, a requirement to be eligible to bid for Essar Steel India Ltd., Mint reported Oct. 19, citing sources familiar with the matter.

As a result, this narrowed the race to between ArcelorMittal and Vedanta Resources PLC to acquire the debt-laden steelmaker, the news organization's report said. Russia's VTB Bank, a majority shareholder of Numetal, sought permission to submit a solo bid.

Earlier this month, ArcelorMittal approved a payment of 74.69 billion rupees to clear its dues in a bid to make its offer eligible for Essar Steel.

In the latest round of bidding, ArcelorMittal offered 420.00 billion rupees for Essar Steel, with Numetal placing a 370.00 billion rupees bid and Vedanta putting up 350.00 billion rupees for the steelmaker.

As of Oct. 18, US$1 was equivalent to 73.60 Indian rupees.