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Kolkata, Dec. 6

PUNJ Lloyd Ltd has firmed up plans to expand its engineering services footprint to new sectors such as hydel power, light rail transport, ports, and airports.

So far, the engineering and construction services major offered its engineering expertise to sectors such as infrastructure, offshore and onshore pipelines, gas gathering pipelines, gas gathering systems, oil and gas tanks and terminals, including cryogenic, LNG and LPG storage terminals, and thermal power plants.

Speaking to newspersons today, Mr V.K. Kaushik, Joint Managing Director and COO, said that the company was scouting for opportunities for business development in these new areas, especially infrastructure and energy, both in India and abroad.

He also said that as far as business growth in India was concerned, the company was bullish on sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, and energy.

The company's diversification plans, he hoped, would "fructify gradually". The company has orders worth Rs 3,700 crore at hand.

Mr Kaushik said that in pursuance of its diversification plans the company had set aside a corpus of Rs 50 crore, which would be invested in joint ventures.

In the infrastructure sector, projects based on BOOT (build-operate-own-transfer) and BOT (build-operate-transfer) would be taken up.

According to him, the company plans to reduce its debt burden by Rs 300 crore from the existing level of Rs 800 crore. This would result in interest savings to the tune of Rs 30 crore annually.

To raise money to retire part of its debts, as also to raise funds for investments in capital equipment and infrastructure projects, Punj Lloyd is entering the capital market on December 13 with a public issue of 9,172,937 equity shares of Rs 10 each for cash at a price that would be decided through the book building process.

The price band has been fixed at Rs 600-700 per equity share. The offer constitutes 17.57 per cent of the fully diluted, post-issue paid-up equity capital of Punj Lloyd Ltd.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 7, 2005)
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