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Nalco due diligence to begin soon

New Delhi, Oct. 7 (PTI): Even as the debate over privatisation continues in the Cabinet, the government has shortlisted nearly 15 prospective bidders, including Sterlite Industries and Hindalco, for strategic sale of National Aluminium (Nalco) and due deligence is slated to take off by end October.

Official sources confirmed that advisors for the sale had pre qualified all but one of the nearly 15 bidders who had submitted expressions of interest (EoIs) because of its failure to meet the net worth criteria set at $ 250 million. Global advisors are also learnt to have despatched the documents pertaining to the sale to bidders over the weekend.

Sources said that in a unique exercise, data room visits would be replaced by a new software enabling setting up of a virtual data room. The move would help save the government and bidders’ time and cost associated with a mechanical exercise.

The government proposes to disinvest 60 per cent stake in the company through a combination of strategic sale, American depository receipt (ADR) and domestic offering. It currently holds around 87.15 per cent stake in the company.

It would offer 29 per cent to a strategic partner, 20 per cent would be offloaded through the ADR route and the rest would be offered to retail investors.

ABN Amro-Rothschild-Enam Securities have been mandated to act as global advisors while ICICI Securities-JP Morgan have been appointed as co-book runners. Among those in the fray for the company are Aluminium Pechiney of France, Russian Aluminium, Glencore of Switzerland, Alcan and Alcoa.

Plant visits by prospective bidders are expected to commence by month end, sources added.

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