India infrastructure giant GVK on Saturday said it would pay $1.3 billion for Australia's Hancock Prospecting coal, rail and port projects and spend a further $10 billion developing them as it lines up energy supplies for upcoming power plants. Hancock's owner and richest woman in the world, Georgina Hope Rinehart will join GVK Power's board and retain a 21% stake in the mines.
Rinehart, 57, is predicted to become the world’s richest person as the coal projects and Hancock's massive 100%-owned iron ore mines start producing by 2014 and earn her annual profits of as much as $10 billion. The so-called queen of iron ore who inherited a debt-ridden mining company from her father 20 years ago had already doubled her wealth from 2010 before Saturday's deal.
NDTV profits reports "The cost of acquisition is around $1.26 billion, payable in a phased manner to the Hancock Group with $500 million payable at closing," GVK Power & Infrastructure said in a regulatory filing.
AFP reports last year, Adani Enterprises spent $2.7 billion to pick up coal assets belonging to Australia's Linc Energy. Tata Power, Reliance Power, Essar and other companies have bought coal mines from Indonesia to South Africa and Mozambique, spending a collective total of around $8 billion in the last four years, according to figures compiled by Indian magazine Business World.
MINING.com reported in June Rinehart, 57, who inherited a debt-ridden mining company 20 years ago, is predicted to become the world’s richest person. She is already the richest Australian after her wealth more than doubled to $10.3bn this year. Five years ago her personal fortune was estimated at $1.8 billion.
That still places her far behind Carlos Slim, Mexico’s cellphone magnate worth some $73bn, but according to SmartCompany if Rinehart was a listed company and valued using the same 11-times price-to-earnings ratio as her partner, Rio Tinto, she would be worth $30 billion, putting her in the top ten of the Forbes rich list. It is possible to see Rinehart’s portfolio of coal and iron ore production spinning off annual profits approaching $10 billion, giving her a personal net worth of more than $100 billion.
In July the Economic Times wrote given her legendary reclusiveness, her India visit in June this year went largely unnoticed. Rinehart attended GV Krishna (GVK) Reddy's granddaughter's Rs 100-crore wedding in Hyderabad, with a couple of Australian parliamentarians in tow. MPs as guests at the wedding of an Indian business family that might do business in Australia — this sort of thing is a lot more frowned upon in Canberra than in New Delhi. GVK Reddy, 72, is ranked #47 on Forbes India’s Richest list with a fortune of just over $1 billion.