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The power deal that led to threat calls

The alleged extortion bid that led to the arrest of Jaspal Singh, a general manager with the corporate affairs team of Avantha Group firm Ballarpur Industries Ltd, was reportedly hatched in the wake of a deal struck by the Gautam Thapar-led group in November last year.

Under the deal, Avantha Power and Infrastructure Ltd (APIL) sold off its Korba WestPower Ltd unit to Adani Power. Korba West operated a 600 MW coal-fired power plantin Chhattisgarh and was building another 600 MW unit. The deal marked cash-starved Avantha Group’s attempts to exit from the power generation business.

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APIL, a company promoted by Avantha Holdings Ltd, Cromption Greaves Ltd and Ballarpur Industries had signed the agreement with Adani Power to sell its entire stake in Korba Power West on November 24.

The Avantha Group, which has interests in electricalgoods, engineering and paper, has been trying to reduce debt by selling assets. Earlier, Avantha demerged the consumer goods business of Crompton Greaves and sold its chemicals business to AdityaBirla Chemicals. As of June 30, Ballarpur Industries had a consolidated debt of Rs 5,233.69 crore while Crompton had a debt of Rs 2,395 crore as of March


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