The IPO of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd — Visakhapatnam Steel Plant — has been deferred again.

While official sources said that the issue had been put on hold for a short period due to market conditions, union leaders said it had been postponed by three months. The Steel Plant Employees’ Union, the recognised union, and other unions have served a notice to go on strike on July 24 against 10 per cent divestment of government stake in the company.

It is the second time RINL’s Rs 2,500-crore IPO has been deferred. Originally, it was supposed to hit the market in June.

The Government, on Monday, decided to defer 10 per cent disinvestment in RINL.

At a meeting in the Capital — among the representatives of the Ministry of Steel, Department of Disinvestment, merchant bankers and RINL — it was decided that the unlisted steel-maker will not submit the red herring prospectus on Tuesday to the market regulatorDeutsche Equities and UBS Securities are lead book runners to the book-built offer.This 10 per cent stake sale, according to the earlier schedule, was set to begin in June and fetch the Government around Rs 2,500 crore.

Sources in the Steel Ministry told Business Line that the meeting did not, however, decide on the timeline for filing the prospectus.

“In the backdrop of weak market condition, down-beat morale of RINL staff after the recent explosion and near possibility of obtaining access to iron ore assets (in Rajasthan and Odisha), it was decided to defer the planned submission of the RHP to SEBI,” said an official, who was present in the meeting.

(This article was published on July 16, 2012)
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