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India's Lanco in talks to sell stake in Griffin coal mine

[Mumbai] Indian infrastructure firm Lanco Infratech is in talks with investors to sell a stake in its Griffin coal mine in Australia and some road projects, it said on Friday.

It's part of its strategy to pay down a hefty debt burden Lanco, which has been negotiating with lenders to restructure its debts since last year. The company has been seeking to sell assets to return to profitability and repay net debt which stood at about US$5.9 billion at the end of March.

It said last month it would sell power projects to raise US$825 million to pay down debt.

The company, which acquired Griffin Coal Mining Co for about US$760 million in 2011, plans to increase annual mining capacity at the largest coal mine in Australia four-fold to around 18 million tons by 2018, according to the company's website.

In a statement to the stock exchange, the company said discussions were in progress with "some strategic/financial investors" over a possible stake sale.

The company added the discussions were preliminary and no definitive action was in process.

Lanco, which produces power, builds roads and constructs residential and commercial buildings, in July last year started a process to restructure debts totalling US$1.3 billion after economic weakness hurt some of its core businesses.

It had said then that the debt restructuring would not impact its Australian business.