The race to acquire the Vijay Mallya-promoted Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers (MCF) has heated up with Pune-based Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals making an open offer on Wednesday to acquire a 26 per cent stake in the company at ₹61.75 a share. The open offer price is lower than Wednesday’s closing price of ₹66 on the BSE.

The open offer was triggered after Deepak Fertilisers placed an order with JM Financial to purchase 1.7 per cent more of Mangalore Chemicals at a price not exceeding ₹63 per share. Deepak Fertilisers, along with its subsidiary SCM Soilfert, has offered to buy up to 30.8 million equity shares of Mangalore Chemicals from public shareholders at ₹61.75 a share, aggregating to ₹190.27 crore, the company said in a BSE filing on Wednesday.

Last July, Deepak Fertilisers, through SCM Soilfert, bought a 24.46 per cent stake in Mangalore Chemicals for ₹180 crore. The share buyout then did not call for an open offer, as the purchase was just below the 25 per cent trigger.

Ravi Shenoy, Assistant Vice-President, Motilal Oswal Securities, said the acquisition of Mangalore Chemicals would triple the company’s fertiliser sales. “Synergy benefits on the distribution front and the ability to enhance market reach make this bid for control more lucrative,” he said.

After acquiring a substantial stake, Deepak Fertilisers had tried to convince Mallya to offload his stake. Having received a cold shoulder, Deepak Fertiliser went ahead and launched a hostile bid.

It has to contend with the Saroj Kumar Poddar-controlled Zuari Fertilisers and Chemicals, which had acquired a 16 per cent stake at about ₹40 a share in Mangalore Chemicals after Deepak Fertilisers stepped in.

(This article was published on April 23, 2014)
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