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Rediff.com  » Business » ABCL debt free, mulls IPO: Amitabh

ABCL debt free, mulls IPO: Amitabh

January 28, 2004 17:48 IST

Amitabh BachchanAmitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd has become debt free and has started preparations to tap the capital market through an initial public offer.

"Eventually, we shall float an IPO in the capital market. But this is still at a preparation stage," Amitabh Bachchan, promoter of ABCL, told PTI in New Delhi.

Bachchan did not give any time frame in which the company might tap the market, saying a final view was yet to be taken along with other directors.

Asked whether ABCL has come out of the purview of Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, he said, "The corporation has become absolutely debt free and soon it will be out of BIFR's ambit."

Last week, BIFR had given a time period of eight weeks to income tax authorities and public service broadcaster Prasar Bharti to resolve outstanding issues with ABCL, a move expected to facilitate rehabilitation of the company.

Following the directive of BIFR, the quasi-judicial body entrusted with revival of sick companies, Amitabh Bachchan is expected to meet Prasar Bharti chief executive next month to sort out the issues, sources said.

Pointing out that ABCL had already paid Rs 17 crore (Rs 170 million) that it owed to the broadcaster, B S Nagar, counsel for ABCL, had said the only matter that remained to be resolved was modalities for free advertisements featuring the Bollywood megastar.

Expressing confidence that ABCL would come out of the purview of BIFR, Nagar had said the corporation had already repaid most of its loans and had shown substantial progress as far as rehabilitation scheme was concerned.

ABCL sought BIFR protection under the Sick Industrial Companies Act four years ago following erosion of its net worth. The Industrial Development Bank of India was appointed as the operating agency.

In the case of tax department, a rehabilitation scheme approved by BIFR required that ABCL seek certain reliefs and concessions, an issue on which the company has yet to hear from the authority.

ABCL has improved its net worth during last financial year and it stood at around Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) last September, based on provisional accounts, sources said.

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