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Reliance hikes BSES stake to 44%

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, Dec. 26

RELIANCE Industries Ltd, along with Reliance Power Ventures Ltd, today bought close to two per cent equity in power company BSES Ltd.

With this, the RIL Group holds 44.12 per cent stake in BSES, according to a notice to the stock exchanges.

RIL and RPVL today informed the stock exchanges that the two companies had picked up 1.78 per cent amounting to 24.39 lakh shares of BSES shareholding through market purchases.

The Rs 65,000-crore Reliance Industries had, on December 20, 2003, announced an open offer to acquire 20 per cent equity in BSES Ltd at Rs 230.10 per share.

This is the second open offer by RIL, which is already the single largest shareholder in BSES with a combined shareholding of group companies and persons acting in concert of 43.43 per cent.

RIL plans to spend Rs 743 crore to finance the acquisition.

Reliance had said that BSES would be its vehicle for investments in the power sector.

As per a BSE filing on September 30, Reliance Industries along with Reliance Power and Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd held held about 43 per cent in BSES Ltd while banks and financial institutions together hold 36.6 per cent.

Foreign institutional investors hold 2.44 per cent, GDR holders have 3.69 per cent and the public owns 12.82 per cent.

BSES looks to `better world'

BSES employees represented by the BSES Officers Association has welcomed Reliance "into the BSES family''.

In a release, the association said, "We expect a total revolution on all conventional ideas, all dogmas and (RIL) will bring out the finest ability and will, through a technological and intellectual development, create a better world for us.''

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