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Rediff.com  » Business » Purnendu okay with IOC, IDBI stake in Haldia Petro

Purnendu okay with IOC, IDBI stake in Haldia Petro

January 24, 2006 12:24 IST

The Purnendu Chatterjee-headed The Chatterjee Group on Monday said it had no objection to allotment of shares to Indian Oil Corporation and IDBI, both being shareholders in Haldia Petrochemicals, if it continued to retain the majority stake.

"We have no problem with IOC and IDBI, being shareholders, if our majority control is ensured," the counsel for TCG said at the Company Law Board hearing on Monday.

TCG was asked by the CLB to come back with a proposal to be considered by the West Bengal government and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

"The government is no longer keen to give the company in private hands, but we would take a proposal to the government for consideration," the counsel said. The hearing for the case will continue at a later date.

The dispute over the control of HPL came to the fore in August 2005 after TCG had moved the CLB over WBIDC's decision to allot 7.5 per cent stake in HPL to IndianOil.

TCG, which claims it has about 53 per cent stake even after the allotment, argued that it had the first right of refusal to the shares.

TCG would submit its proposal to the task force comprising nominees of the West Bengal government and TCG for an amicable settlement of the stand-off over the allotment of shares to IOC. A copy would be sent to the CLB.

The proposed conversion of IDBI's Rs 135 crore (Rs 1.35 billion) debt into preference shares came into focus at the hearing with TCG arguing that if it was allowed to represent the company, it would find a cheaper lender than IDBI and that IDBI's debts could be pre-paid. It contended that it would come into minority if the loans of IDBI were allowed to be converted into equity.

"IDBI has five nominee directors on board and they all are supporting the government," the counsel for TCG alleged. HPL is being board-managed, as both the government and TCG have four directors each on its 16-member board.
Ashish Aggarwal in New Delhi
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