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L&T scrip beats Grasim offer

Mumbai, May 7: The Grasim open offer for L&T at Rs 190 a share took effect today even as the scrip traded at a premium on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Although the share closed at Rs 204.55 ó down from yesterdayís close of Rs 207.45 ó it commaned a premium of Rs 14.55 over the open offer price.

Therefore, the war being waged by small investors to get a better price from Grasim for L&T shares remained unresolved even as Sebi chairman G. N Bajpai said the market regulator had given its consent to Grasimís open offer. Market speculations about Grasim revising its price upwards did not happen till today.

Earlier, at a press conference Bajpai said it was not necessary for Sebi to make public its investigations on the Grasim case as its decision to ask the companyís merchant bankers to go ahead with the offer was neither an order nor a directive.

World over, regulators do not make public their investigations unless the courts demand it, he argued. Grasim's acqusition of a 10 per cent of L&Tís equity from the Reliance group gave rise to a controversy from the very beginning.

There is also a parallel investigation on alleged insider trading in this deal. Progress on this case is not known.

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