Our Bureau

Mumbai, May 17

Swiss engineering company ABB on Monday announced an open offer to shareholders of ABB India to acquire 22.89 per cent stake in it at Rs 900 a share.

The offer, at 34 per cent premium over the Friday closing price of the scrip, led to a surge in the stock's price on the bourses on Monday. The ABB stock closed 23.4 per cent higher at Rs 831.45, gaining Rs 157.90 on BSE.

The open offer will commence on July 8 and close on July 27. HSBC Securities and Capital Market are the Lead Managers. ABB will be spending Rs 4,365 crore to raise its stake in the Indian arm to about 75 per cent from the current 52 per cent. The offer is to acquire 4.8 crore shares constituting 22.89 per cent stake in ABB India.

Institutional investors hold substantial stakes in ABB India and their willingness to tender their shares would be crucial to the open offer's success. LIC holds around 16 per cent in ABB India, and Aberdeen Investment 3.5 per cent.

Market talk had it that ABB is willing to raise its stake even higher. It has about $5 billion in cash even after the Indian offer, and post payment of dividend of 0.51 Swiss francs (45 cents) a share. However, in Zurich the ABB stock fell by about 1.8 per cent.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 18, 2010)
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