Nalco ADRs Head For NYSE Listing

New Delhi, November 27: | Updated: Nov 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
ABN Amro-Enam and JP Morgan-I Sec, advisers for disinvestment in National Aluminium (Nalco), have recommended that the companys American depository receipts (ADRs) be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The government is expected to accept the recommendation for listing on the NYSE, though presentations have been made by both NYSE and National Association of Automated Dealers (Nasdaq) at a recent meeting of the inter-ministerial group, said a senior government official.

Alongside, Behre Dolbear Australia Pvt Ltd, appointed as technical consultants for Nalco disinvestment, has submitted its report to the inter-ministerial group. Sources said Behre Dolbear had been selected from a panel of four consultants who had submitted technical bids, the other three being Hatch Consulting of Australia, Pincock Allen & Holt and Holt of the US, Steffen Robertson & Kirsten of Australia.

The report of the technical consultants provides details on mine reserves, exploration and mining operations of Nalco, the environmental and socio-economic aspect of its operations at its mines, besides an in-depth study on its operations, including the alumina refinery, aluminium smelter, downstream fabrication facilities, port facilities and logistics.

Behre Dolbears report will be made available to Nalco bidders and the relevant extracts will be incorporated in the prospectus for ADRs.

Sources said Behre Dolbear had also been asked to assist the government in discussions with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Following discussions with SEC, the advisers have recommended that adequate representation of the government of India would be desirable for a pre-filing meeting with the SEC, which will be held shortly. This would improve response time on the part of SEC in approving the ADR prospectus, sources said.

The government is in the process of bringing down its equity in Nalco from 87.15 per cent to 26 per cent. As much as 20 per cent of government will be offloaded as ADRs, 10 per cent in the domestic market, 29.15 in favour of the strategic partner and 2 per cent in favour of the employees.

A number of domestic companies and global majors have expressed interest in Nalco. The bidders include Hindalco, Sterlite, Alcan, Alcoa, Pechiney and BHP. Differences in the ruling National Democratic Alliance and opposition from coal & mines minister Uma Bharti have practically stalled the selloff process. The disinvestment ministry, however, continues to prepare the ground for the sale. The technical consultants report is part of this exercise.