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Laurels for Balmer Lawrie
April 04, 2003 13:15 IST
Balmer Lawrie was spurred higher on Friday after the core group of secretaries cleared the shareholders and share purchase agreements relating to the divestment of the company.
The scrip of the diversified PSU leaped up 6.41% to Rs 83 following the news.
By 10:45 IST, just about 602 Balmer Lawrie shares had changed hands on BSE. In the three sessions between 31 March and 3 April 2003, Balmer Lawrie rose 16.33% to Rs 78 from Rs 67.05.
Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was trading at 3,138.31, down 12.85 points.
On Thursday, the core group of secretaries cleared the shareholders' and share purchase agreements of the diversified Balmer Lawrie. CGS also decided that the company will be sold as a single entity. The finance ministry had earlier suggested that the company's eight business units be sold as separate entities.
The Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment is now expected to take up the issue at its next meeting to be held after the Budget Session of Parliament. If the CCD okays the divestment strategy, initial bids for divestment will be called (most possibly by May end).
There's further optimism about the scrip (besides the divestment) on expectations that the company may declare a huge dividend for FY 2002-03.
In February 2003, the Centre announced that it would appoint valuers for Balmer Lawrie & Company by the end of March 2003.
Earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment had given the go ahead for the privatisation of the PSU as a combined entity (on 'as is where is' basis).
ABG Heavy Industries, Adani Group, BMW Industries, Orissa Cements, Patton, Gujarat Glass, Srei International Finance, Utam Galvanising, Techno Craft, Sound Craft, Fedders Lloyd, Zim Lines and Maharashtra Seamless are in the fray for acquiring equity stake in Balmer Lawrie.
Earlier, there were reports that the prospective bidders were not keen to take control of the entire company. They were interested only in the company's oil lubricants and grease business, and not in the unconnected travels and tours and industrial packaging businesses.
Of the bidders, Castrol India, BPCL, HPCL and IBP had expressed interest only in Balmer Lawrie's oil and lubricants business. Likewise, logistics service providers Container Corporation of India, Central Warehousing Corporation, TM Logistics of Tata Group and P&O Ports of Australia were keen on Balmer Lawrie's container freight stations business. Dutch firm Vamleer was interested only in the industrial packaging division. However, the CCD decided to sell the PSU firm as one unit and not in bits and pieces.
Kolkata-based Balmer Lawrie and Company manufactures industrial packaging, barrels and drums, LPG cylinders, greases and lubricants, leather chemicals, functional additives and marine freight containers. It also undertakes tea exports and trading, travel, tours, and cargo and engineering services such as turnkey projects, energy audit and consultancy and freight container repairs.
The Centre intends to offload 61.8% of its equity stake in Balmer Lawrie. SBI Caps is the global advisor for Balmer Lawrie's divestment.
For the third quarter ended 31 December 2002, Balmer Lawrie registered an impressive Rs 4.83 crore rise in net profit compared to Rs 0.89 crore in the corresponding period last year. Net sales also increased by 21% to Rs 211.38 crore (Rs 2.11 billion), from Rs 174.81 (Rs 1.74 billion) in DQ 2001.
As on December 2002, public and institutions held 17.14% and 16.80% stake respectively in the company. More Hot Pursuits
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