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Thursday, Sep 09, 2004

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Tatas to sell 11% in Haldia Petro to WBIDC

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Sept. 8

MR Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of the Tata group, today confirmed that the Tatas would sell a major portion of their stake in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd to the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) at face value.

Talking to reporters after chairing the 41st annual general meeting of Tata Tea, he said that currently the Tatas hold 14 per cent stake in Haldia Petrochemicals but it would be reduced to a "token participation".

When asked about the quantity of this "token participation", Mr Tata said, it would be three per cent. The rest 11 per cent would be sold to WBIDC, one of the three major co-promoters of Haldia Petrochemicals.

Asked whether the Tatas would charge a premium from WBIDC, as Haldia Petrochemicals has started generating a profit, Mr Tata replied in the negative.

"We had long decided to get out of non-core business activities but in an effort to express our confidence in Haldia Petrochemical and in this region, we will continue with a token participation," he said.

Mr Tata also confirmed that he was returning to the board of Haldia Petrochemicals on the request of the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. It may be noted that along with Mr Tata, Mr Jamshyd Godrej is also joining the board of Haldia Petrochemicals.

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