Stocks

SAIL defers follow-on offer

| Updated on: Jun 01, 2011

‘No one wants to sell it cheap,' says Steel Minister

Amid volatile stock market, state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd has deferred its follow-on share sale offer that was scheduled on June 14 envisaging to raise up to Rs 8,000 crore.

“It may spill over beyond June, if market conditions remain unstable,” the SAIL Chairman, Mr C.S. Verma, told PTI.

“We are yet to freeze it. It is very much on the move but we will decide the dates depending upon the market conditions. Let the market become normal and then we will be able to tell you the dates.”

Asked about the June 14 as date of launching the share sale, he said, “We never decided that it will be middle of June. It was just one of the options.”

SAIL has plunged about 23 per cent since the beginning of this year, according to data on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The scrip of the company today closed at Rs 144.95 on the BSE.

A senior official of the Department of Disinvestment confirmed that the FPO has been deferred for the time being.

The company has also postponed the plan to file its final FPO papers with market regulator SEBI. This was earlier planned for today.

“We are eligible for fast track clearance from the regulators... We will file the papers, when we take a call on the FPO dates,” Mr Verma said.

The SAIL Chairman also said that a final decision on launching the road shows to attract investors will be decided after finalising the dates for the follow-on public offer.

Through the share sale, the Government will divest its 5 per cent stake in SAIL, while the company will issue fresh equity of the same proportion under the FPO.

Last week the Steel Minister, Mr Beni Prasad Verma, had said that the follow-on public offer of the Maharatna PSU was not possible at the current market prices.

“No one wants to sell it cheap, neither the company nor the Government. We can wait for the right time... At current prices it is not possible,” he had said.

The FPO of SAIL, in which the Government holds a little over 85 per cent, has failed to meet deadlines repeatedly since December last year due to unfavourable market conditions and problems with merchant bankers.

The Government has set a target to raise Rs 40,000 crore through disinvestment in State-run firms in the current fiscal as well.

Published on March 12, 2018

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