The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Birlas could creep on L&T

Mumbai, June 5: Grasim Industries’ open offer for Larsen & Toubro (L&T) shares closed today with little to show by way of shares mopped up from retail investors.

Merchant bankers say the A. V. Birla group, of which Grasim is the flagship, is free to buy shares from the markets through the creeping route, up to 5 per cent.

“It met with a poor response but it was not a surprise to us”, a merchant banker piloting the offer for the Birlas said. The L&T share is quoting at a premium of more than 10 per cent to the offer price, he explained.

Grasim made the offer at Rs 190, while L&T shares ended at Rs 216.25 on BSE, after touching an intra-day high of Rs 216.25.

It all depends on how the financial institutions play their cards. The main issue will be how the L&T management and the Birlas hive off the cement business. The case is now similar to what the Reliance group did with BSES. After making the mandatory open offers, they acquired shares through creeping acquisitions to finally gain control of the Mumbai utility.

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