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Tata Chem pulls out of NFL race

Mumbai, Sept. 5: In a setback to the disinvestment process of National Fertilisers (NFL), Tata Chemicals today said it was not in the race for the government’s stake in the fertiliser major.

“We arrived at the conclusion not to submit a bid. We did that after carrying out a detailed internal valuation. It does not add significant value to our operations. The letter conveying the government of our decision was sent on Thursday,” officials said.

Today, the company put out a press release, which said Tata Chemicals has decided to not submit a bid for NFL. Thursday was the last date for submission of bids.

The government, which intends to sell 51 per cent in NFL to a strategic partner, now has only Indo Gulf Fertilisers, Chambal Fertiliser and Kribco as the leading contenders for its majority stake in the state-run fertiliser firm. Earlier, Iffco had opted out of the bidding.

Analysts say selling a majority stake in NFL will fetch the government close to Rs 2000 crore, at current market prices.

The departure of the Tatas from the fray, however, did not tell on the National Fertiliser share, which finished 6.50 per cent higher at Rs 81.40. The scrip opened the day at Rs 79 and shot to the day’s high of Rs 83.50 amid 1529 deals that generated a turnover of Rs 1.59 crore.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Hindustan Lever Chemicals will be merged into Tata Chemicals, which led to the birth of the country’s second-largest fertiliser company.

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