SAIL to launch share sale by end-March

SAIL to launch share sale by end-March

Mumbai: State-run Steel Authority of India’s upto $1.9 billion share sale could be launched by end-March, after the steelmaker takes a final decision early next week on lead managers for the offer, its chairman said.

The government had issued notices last month to some of the shortlisted banks for the SAIL offering, asking if there was any conflict of interest, after they also managed rival Tata Steel’s $770 million share sale.

“We discussed the legal position. We will be in a position to take a final decision by early next week," SAIL chairman C.S. Verma told Reuters, after a meeting with government officials.

“We will still be able to launch the offer within this financial year."

The government will sell 5% in India’s largest domestic steelmaker, which has an annual capacity of around 15 million tonnes. SAIL will issue new shares equal to 5% of its existing share capital, to fund expansions.

The government owns about 86% in the firm.

SAIL had earlier selected Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, HSBC, SBI Capital, Enam Securities and Kotak Mahindra Capital to manage the share sale.

SBI, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Kotak were also among the managers for the Tata Steel offer.

The state-run steelmaker is likely to retain all the banks for the share sale, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.