The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi address for Hindustan Copper

Calcutta, Oct. 21: Hindustan Copper Ltd will shift its headquarters from Calcutta to the Scope complex in Delhi. The sick public sector undertaking will sell Tamra Bhaban, the prominent Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue landmark that houses its Calcutta office.

The decision was taken at a company board meeting in Delhi today. No company director, however, was available for a comment.

Sources said the company would shift its headquarters to reduce the cost of operations and generate additional funds by selling the building in Calcutta. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has already shown an interest in buying the building.

The company is likely to receive a second corporate and financial restructuring package from the government to attract bidders.

Sources said the disinvestment department had already apprised the cabinet committee of the dismal financial condition of the company which had found hardly a couple of bidders like Birla Copper and Sterlite Industries. Even Sterlite has recently backed out from the bidding process.

Global adviser A. F. Ferguson has made it clear that without a clean-up exercise, the bidders are not interested in the company which has an accumulated loss of around Rs 1000 crore, sources said.

The company has already converted Rs 251 crore of government loans into equity in the first tranche of restructuring.

A Rs 550 crore restructuring package, focussing on the voluntary retirement scheme, is expected to be in place soon, sources said. The target is to reduce the employee strength from the existing 9000 to 3000.

The government had earlier decided to divest its entire 98 per cent equity in Hindustan Copper to a strategic partner along with management control.

Initially, four bidders had evinced interest in the company, including Birla Copper, Sterlite Industries, Metdist and Finolex Cables.

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