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Kolkata, March 7 The new date for opening of the financial bids for the 57.17 per cent equity stake sale of State-owned power distribution firm DPSC Ltd has been fixed as March 10 by Andrew Yule Ltd (AYL), Mr Kallol Datta, Chairman and Managing Director of the company, has said.

This follows the Calcutta High Court’s decision recently allowing the company to continue with the disinvestments process, he said. He, however, had not received the copy of the order yet, he said.

The order was passed on the case filed by AYL against an interim order passed by the Company Law Board (CLB) in December last year in response to Descon’s plea against ‘oppression and mismanagement’ by the consortium. The consortium had stated that while AYL could go ahead with the bidding process a final decision could not be taken, Mr Datta said.

“We have seen the order and it says that there shall be no restrain or injunction against the disinvestments process and the disinvesting parties shall be free to continue and conclude the bidding process,” Mr Datta said. Mr S. Radhakrishnan, Managing Director of both Descon and DPSC, however said the case has been referred back and would now be heard by the CLB, and that the deal could not sealed. Financial bids could, however, be submitted and opened in the meanwhile.

Of the 57.17 per cent up for sale, 7 per cent belonged to AYL, while Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) held 30 per cent, United India Insurance Company had 12 per cent, with the remaining 8 per cent being held by two Andrew Yule group companies, Bengal Coal Company and Katras Jherriah Company Ltd.

AYL informed that the bidders for DPSC included JSW Energy, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, RPG Group’s flagship company CESC, Coal India Ltd , Patton International, Paharpur Cooling Towers, Srei Infrastructure Finance, Tata Power, Jai Balaji Industries, Kalpataru Power Transmission, Quippo Infrastructure Equipment Karvy Stock Borking, Torrent Power, Raghav Industries, Aryan Coal Benefications and KSK Energy Ventures.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 8, 2009)
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