The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nalco shortlist next week

New Delhi, Sept. 19 (PTI): The government is expected to shortlist prospective bidders for offloading stake in National Aluminium Company (Nalco) by the end of next week for which as many as 15 initial bids have been received. Official sources said the government took stock of the response to invitation for expression of interest (EOI) at yesterday’s meeting of inter-ministerial group (IMG) on Nalco disinvestment.

They said as many as 15 players as against an earlier figure of 12 were in the reckoning for the company, initial bids for which closed on Monday.

Amongst those in the fray include domestic majors Birla group promoted Hindalco Industries, Sterlite Industries which last year bought majority stake in another aluminium PSU — Balco, Switzerland based Glencore, BHP-Billiton of Australia and a host of other foreign companies.

The government proposes to dilute as much as 60 per cent stake in the company through a combination of strategic sale, American Depository Receipt (ADR) and domestic issue.

While 29 per cent stake will be offloaded to a strategic partner, 20 per cent will be offered in foreign markets and another 10 per cent to domestic investors.

It has mandated ABN Amro-Rothschild-Enam securities as global advisors and has appointed ICICI Securities-J P Morgan as co-book runners.

The advisors are reported to have told the government that the process of scrutinising the bids would be completed in eight to ten days following which the bidders would be pre-qualified to undertake due diligence.

The government had earlier set a net worth criteria of $ 250 million for prospective bidders while deciding not to impose any turnover criteria.

However, the resistance to strategic sale has been growing with coal and mines minister Uma Bharti reported to have raised objections to the sale pending completion of modernisation programme.

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