Custodian For Selling Harshads ACC Stake In One Block To Single Party

Mumbai, Sept 22: | Updated: Sep 23 2003, 05:30am hrs
The office of the Custodian has invited offers from individuals as well as corporates and other entities for the sale of 1.63 crore shares of cement major ACC Ltd. This works out to 9.39 per cent of the companys equity. The Custodian is in favour of selling this block of shares in a single transaction to a single party.

The Custodians office has identified this chunk of shares under the controlling block category, which belongs to various entities of the Harshad Mehta Group as also other parties notified under the Special Courts (TORTS) Act, 1992.

Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd (GACL), which holds a 14.43 per cent stake in ACC, reiterated on Monday that it would not put in a bid for the ACC stake. GACL wholetime director Anil Singhvi said the company would also not make any open offer for ACC.

The winning bidder for the stake held by the Custodian will have to get a crucial no objection from the ACC board if it wants to pick up the stake. FE had earlier reported that GACL and Swiss major Holcim were engaged in talks on the issue.

Mr Singhvi, however, added that it was a hypothetical question at this juncture as to whether GACL would support any other cement companys attempt at picking up a stake in ACC by bidding for the Custodians stake.

As per Mondays closing price of Rs 189.30 for ACC on The Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE), the market value of the entire block of 1.63 crore shares works out to Rs 308.56 crore.

Sources in the Custodians office in Mumbai said this time too they expect the entire block of shares to be bought by a single party as has happened in the past. In the case of Apollo Tyres, the block of 12.49 lakh shares was bought by the promoter and the company in August this year. The other major holdings on the block were 14.59 lakh shares of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), 1.17 lakh shares of ITC, 6.03 lakh shares of Punjab Tractors and 2.33 lakh shares of Tata Tea.

The Custodian has asked the applicants interested in buying this block of ACC shares to submit their offers accompanied by demand draft of an amount equivalent to 2 per cent of the amount of offer made towards earnest money. The offers can be sent to the Custodians office till October 8 and the same will be opened by a disposal committee the same evening. The custodian has also invited offers for 12.50 lakh shares of Snowcem India Ltd, held by these notified parties.

The Custodians office, in a public notice inviting offers for the sale of ACC and Snowcem shares, said that acceptance of bids/ offers will be subject to the approval of the special court, and the court reserves the right to accept or reject any of the offers that may be received. The court, after ascertaining the highest offer, may give an opportunity to the management of the said companies to buy or to buy back, as per the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, this controlling block of shares, if they so desire.