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Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002

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IPCL exit price from GE Plastics at Rs 49.03 cr

Vinod Mathew


INDIAN Petrochemicals Corporation (IPCL) has set Rs 49.03 crore as the exit price from GE Plastics India (GEPI), its 50:50 joint venture with GEPE, Netherlands — a 100 per cent subsidiary of GE, US.

The negotiated price between the two partners is to be ratified by the Vadodara company's shareholders through postal ballot. The cut-off date for the postal vote on the IPCL's exit has been set for March 11 and the decision would be announced on March 15.

The decision to withdraw from the venture was first announced at IPCL's 30th annual general meeting in September 1999.

The IPCL Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Ashok Chawla, had told Business Line in December last that the price would be well over Rs 41 crore — its total investment in the joint venture. IPCL had invested Rs 25 crore in 1992 for its 50 per cent stake in GEPI and had contributed Rs 16 crore towards the construction of the plant building at Vadodara. The GEPE, over and above its share of Rs 25 crore, had provided the land for putting up the GEPI plant near the IPCL Vadodara complex.

IPCL has already sought the Cabinet committee approval on the sale of its stake in the loss-making joint venture with the Dutch company.

``Possibility of GEPE's competitor gaining control of IPCL and thus becoming GEPE's partner in GEPI'' is the primary reason cited by the MNC for the decision to exit from the venture. Among the secondary reasons is a possible cultural incompatibility between GEPE and the company gaining managerial control over IPCL leading to a conflicting situation.

Sources, said the proceeds from the sale of 25 lakh equity shares of Rs 100 each would fetch the company Rs 23.63 crore. The remaining Rs 25.40 crore has been set as the value of IPCL's assets in GEPI.

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