Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004
Ondeo Nalco eyes NSE to enhance liquidity
Kolkata , Oct. 26
ONDEO Nalco India, a water treatment and chemical company, is proposing to list its stock on the NSE for increasing its liquidity. For lack of depth, it is also planning to delist from the CSE.
Mr Nirmal Khanna, Director and Company Secretary, confirmed that the board would take up the issue this week.
A twisted tale: This unfolds a new chapter in the history of the stock, which underwent unusual twists and turns over the last five years involving two indirect takeovers and threat of complete delisting.
A consortium of private investment companies, comprising Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Blackstone Group and Apollo Management LP, by virtue of their acquisition of Ondeo Nalco, US, (the parent of Ondeo Nalco India) from Suez, a French MNC, now holds 80 per cent in the Indian outfit.
SEBI did not clear the draft open offer for the remaining 20 per cent share, at a price of Rs 288 a share, by the present owners in January this year on the grounds that the regulator's directive on the previous indirect takeover was contested by Suez and the matter was pending before SAT.
The case is still pending before the tribunal as the petitioner did not withdraw it.
As per the SEBI fiat for Suez, the offer price worked out to Rs 370 per share and interest of around Rs 240 per share, @15 per cent, calculated from April 1999 till the time Suez moved SAT in May 2003.
The stock currently is moving at a price above Rs 350 on the BSE. According to minority shareholders of the company, any of the two open offer price becomes unattractive if the interest element is not added.
Legal catch: Sources close to Mr Nimesh Shah, who along with his associates holds around 16 per cent stake in Ondeo Nalco India, indicated that any of the earlier proposed prices would be meaningless without the interest element added onto it.
This means complete delisting of the stock depends on the total consideration in relation to the current market price.
The interest issue, however, is embroiled in another legal tangle in the Colour Chem case before the Supreme Court, which is expected to review its own judgment or reject the petition by SEBI.
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