Bids For HOCL May Be Invited Next Month

New Delhi, June 26: | Updated: Jun 27 2003, 05:30am hrs
The privatisation process for Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd (HOCL) has entered the last lap, with the core group of secretaries on disinvestment (CGD) clearing the transaction documents for the sale of its 32.61 per cent equity to a strategic partner.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the CGD also approved DSP Merrill Lynch as advisers for disinvestment in BPCL and sorted out that issue of National Fertiliser Ltds heavy water plant. The heavy water plant was one of the impediments in the path to the privatisation of the fertiliser company. The CGDs recommendations regarding the three PSUs will be discussed by the Cabinet committee on disinvestment, which is expected to meet in the first week of July. According to official sources, if the CCD accepts the recommendations of the CGD, financial bids for HOCL would be called in July. HOCL bidders include Deepak Chemicals, Schenectday Herdiilia and Atul Chemicals.

HOCL is a loss-making PSU, which incurred a loss of Rs 262.68 crore in 01-02. Its petrochemicals and basic organic chemicals plants are located at Rasayani near Mumbai and Cochin in Kerala. AF Ferguson are advising the government on HOCL sell-off. NFL, on the other hand, is a profit-making PSU, whose net worth was Rs 1,080.43 crore on March 31, 02. It earned a profit of Rs 40.61 crore in 01-02. Tata Chemicals, the KK Birla groups Zuari-Chambal, the Aditya Birla groupss Indo-Gulf Corpo-ration and Iffco are in the race.u

The government is selling 51 per cent of its equity in favour of a strategic partner. Rabo India are advisers to the government.

In the case of BPCL, the government has decided to offload 35.2 per cent equity through domestic issue and the ADR route. Another 5 per cent shares would be sold to the employees.