The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Stake deal to end Sheth feud

Mumbai, June 20: The Sheths have buried the hatchet over the control of Great Offshore Ltd.

Vijay Sheth, managing director of Great Offshore, is set to get control of the company. In 2005, Great Offshore was spun off from Great Eastern Shipping, the largest shipping company in the private sector.

Vijay will acquire close to 14.43 per cent of Great Offshore from cousins Bharat Sheth and Ravi Sheth and uncle Kanaiyalal M. Sheth for at least Rs 454 crore.

Meltar Trading & Investment Company Pvt Ltd, controlled by Vijay, will pick up around 55 lakh shares of Great Offshore, which is 14.43 per cent of its equity. Great Offshore today told stock exchanges that these shares would be acquired from Bharat, Ravi, Kanaiyalal and his wife Jyotsna.

The acquisition is by way of inter-se transfer of shares among the co-promoters. The date of transfer will be between June 26 and June 30.

Vijay will pay between Rs 825 and Rs 900 for the shares, to be decided by the market price on the date of the transfer.

After the transfer, Meltar will hold around 71 lakh shares, or 18.58 per cent, of Great Offshore.

Sebi has exempted Vijay from making an open offer. Under the takeover code, exemptions are made in transfer of stakes among promoters.

The deal marks an end to the acrimony among the cousins since 2005 when Great Eastern Shipping demerged its offshore business to form Great Offshore.

Vijay was to take control of Great Offshore as the lead promoter and principal shareholder. In March, the Kanaiyalal faction reportedly undermined Vijay’s position at a meeting of the shareholders.

Great Offshore told the shareholders that Vijay was reappointed as the managing director and his tenure was valid only till the next meeting It is understood that ONGC had a hand in the promoters of GE Shipping staying invested in Great Offshore.

After the demerger, the PSU insisted on a performance guarantee from GE Shipping for Great Offshore’s activities. Currently, GE Shipping has two nominees on the board of Great Offshore — Kanaiyalal and Tapas Icot.

Kanaiyalal is the non-executive chairman of GE Shipping. He is also the executive chairman of GE Shipping. Kanaiyalal and Icot are expected to step down after the deal.

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