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Saturday, Dec 13, 2003

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3 groups make open offer for 20 pc in Sterling Holiday

Our Bureau

Chennai Dec. 12

AN open offer for 20 per cent of the Rs 18.22-crore equity of Sterling Holiday Resorts has been made by three entities — Mr Steve Borgia, President, Sterling Holiday, Auromatrix Hotels, a licensee of Days Inn Worldwide in India, and Star Logistics Pvt. Ltd (SLPL).

The joint offer for 36.44 lakh shares of Sterling Holiday is at Rs 11.15 per share. The acquirers need Rs 4.06 crore to buy these shares.

Mr Kumar Sitaraman, Chairman & CEO, Auromatrix Hotels, said the acquirers had already bought around 47 per cent of the promoters' stake, which had been pledged in various financial institutions.

The three have entered into separate share purchase agreements with the original promoters of Sterling Holidays. As per the agreements, Auromatrix will buy 22.8 per cent of Sterling Holiday's equity and Mr Borgia another 11.45 per cent.

Star Logistics and Mr Borgia have already bought 12.3 per cent and 1.26 per cent respectively in Sterling Holidays' equity.

A key feature in the agreements is that the transfer of share by the sellers in favour of the acquirers shall be subject to — like obtaining requisite approvals or no objection letters or letters recognising the change in ownership, from banks and financial institutions.

Sterling has a debt of Rs 150 crore. Mr Sitaraman said they hoped that with the current interest rates, the debt could be brought down to around Rs 70 crore to Rs 80 crore. ICICI is one of the largest lenders to Sterling with an exposure of Rs 65 crore.

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