Shares of IVRCL were down 5.03 per cent during the day’s trade quoting at Rs 45.30 on news about Essel Group paring its holding.

Through several block deals, Essel Group companies shed about 7 per cent stake in the Hyderabad-based infrastructure company for Rs 68 crore. This has brought down Essel Group holding to about 5.27 per cent.

Meanwhile, HSBC Global Investments Funds (Mauritius) Limited too has informed that it has brought down its holding by about 0.26 per cent from 5.40 per cent by sale of shares in the open market. The transactions were intimated to the exchanges by Derek Fung, Associate Director, HSBC Global, based in Hong Kong, late on Thursday.

The IVRCL management recently indicated that it would prefer to concentrate on EPC contracts rather than bidding for BOT (build, own and operate) projects. The company decided to stay away from taking part in road project bids while exiting from completed projects.

The new thinking of the IVRCL management has forced the Essel Group to reconsider its investment in IVRCL.

In fact, a few months ago when Essel Group increased its stake past IVRCL to 12.27 per cent, the market was abuzz with the prospect of a hostile bid. However, things settled down. With the scrip gaining in the past few weeks, Essel has decided to download part stake at more or less the acquisition price.

The Subhash Chandra-promoted Essel Group, which had picked up 12.27 per cent stake in IVRCL through Asia Satellite Broadcast and Jay Properties. Both the group firms pared its stake through few bulk deals.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 5, 2012)
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